*All figures cited below reflect Amazon 1st-party sellers only.

Brief:

Amazon Home Automation, here defined as Alexa-enabled smart devices, has become one of the most popular gift ideas since coming on the scene in 2015. According to our data, in 2016 more than a third of Amazon Home Automation sales took place in the last two months of the year. From January to October 2017, sales grew by 71% year-over-year by our calculations, leading us to estimate 2017 holiday sales of Amazon Home Automation items in excess of $200M.Amazon-Alexa-enabled-home-automation-devices

2017 Top Devices:

  • Security Cameras
  • Robotic Vacuums
  • Smart Speakers

2017 Top Brands:

  • Nest (Security and Thermostats)
  • Arlo (Security Cameras)
  • iRobot (Robotic Vacuums)

Amazon Home Automation

Jan-Oct Nov-Dec Total Sales
2016 Sales $210M $120M $330M
% of Annual Sales 64% 36%
2017 Sales $360M $205M* $565M*
YoY Growth 71% 71%*

*Estimate

Since the first unit was released in 2015, Amazon’s Echo line of smart speakers has sold over 20 million units. More than 15 million of those units were sold between November 2016 and October 2017. The Echo is Amazon’s central Alexa-powered device – the first device to operate with Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant. Now over 20 million people have Alexa in their homes, using the voice-activated technology to help them run their household.

The success of Alexa has caused it to outgrow the Echo, giving rise to a whole product category that we have dubbed “Amazon Home Automation”. Today, tech brands are integrating Alexa support into everything from security systems and thermostats to lamps and sprinkler systems. Brands like Sonos, Philips and ecobee have updated their products for the modern market by introducing Alexa-compatibility – and have been rewarded for it by rising sales and increased market share.

Amazon Home Automation sales rise dramatically in the last two months of the year: in 2016, 36% of sales of Alexa-enabled devices took place in November and December according to our data. Now in the 2017 holiday season, with Alexa in four times as many households as it was a year ago, whether or not a device works with Alexa is more important to shoppers than ever.

Top Amazon Home Automation Categories

Among Amazon first-party sellers, Home Automation is driven by the Security & Surveillance category. Though the Alexa technology was originally marketed (via the Amazon Echo speaker) for its voice-activated music/voice playback and online ordering ability, savvy consumers (and brands) quickly realized how an intelligent, cloud-based technology could be extremely useful in home security. By integrating Alexa with surveillance cameras and alarm systems, people can monitor their homes while out away from the house. Brands such as Ring, Nest and Arlo recognized the value of this early and have helped customers rest easy. In so doing, they’ve made Security & Surveillance the leading category in Amazon Home Automation.

After Security & Surveillance, the next three leading categories can be considered part of the “green home” trend. Lighting, thermostats and power supply have all been integrated with home automation, in part as a response to consumers’ desire to conserve energy. The second-biggest category is Lamps/Light Bulbs: our data shows that this category doubled its YoY sales to earn $45 million between January and October of this year. Alexa-enabled lighting allows consumers to control lighting from a distance and limit wasteful use.

Alexa-enabled Heating/Thermostats and Plugs, Outlets, Dimmers and Switches are both driven by a similar desire to conserve electricity. One of the most desirable Alexa applications is its ability to allow homeowners to control their lights, thermostats and appliances when they are out of the house and to intelligently automate the home environment to optimize both their comfort and their energy bills.Amazon-Alexa-enabled-smart-home-automation-devices

Top Home Automation Items

Clever adoption and marketing of Alexa technologies has proven powerful. Brands that have integrated Alexa support into the latest generations of their devices have seen much more growth than their non-Alexa-connected competitors. Long-time favorites of the holiday season such as the Fitbit, Roomba and Nest Thermostat have all maintained their lead in recent years by being early adopters of Alexa.

Nest, which manufactures both smart thermostats and security cameras, is the biggest brand with 4 items in the top 10 during the first 10 months of 2017. Despite this overall lead, the Nest was beaten by Ring for the bestselling Amazon Home Automation item of the year so far, the Ring Video Doorbell Pro. Another competitor in the security space, Arlo, has two items in the top 10 as well, though Nest remains the category leader in Thermostats.

Crowd-favorite iRobot is still a major driver with their new Roomba 690 model, which adds WiFi connectivity and Alexa-compatibility to their classic 600-series, making Robotic Vacuums the fastest-growing category this year. Sonos is helping to drive growth in the Speakers category with two different Alexa-enabled smart speakers currently ranking #7 and #15 in Amazon Home Automation by our calculations. Sonos recently announced that customers can now play music from Spotify through their speakers using Alexa – just in time for Black Friday – so we can expect Sonos speakers to be a hot gift item this holiday season.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the success of Smart Hubs, which our data shows have grown by 53% this year. Smart hubs connect to your WiFi and allow you to use an app on your phone to automate any number of WiFi-connected devices. Many thought that the release of the Amazon Echo would render smart hubs obsolete, but they’ve managed to get a second lease on life by adding support for Alexa. Consumers can now integrate Alexa even into devices which don’t natively support it by using smart hubs from Logitech and Samsung.Amazon-Alexa-enabled-smart-devices

Top Items by Category Title Rank
Security & Surveillance Ring Video Doorbell Pro (Wiring Required), Works with Amazon Alexa 1
  Nest Cam Indoor security camera, Works with Amazon Alexa 3
Lamps/Light Bulbs Philips Hue White A19 60W Equivalent Starter Kit, Works with Amazon Alexa 13
  Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 60W Equivalent Starter Kit, Works with Amazon Alexa 16
Plugs, Outlets, Dimmers & Switches TP-Link Smart Plug, No Hub Required, Wi-Fi, Control your Devices from Anywhere, Works with Alexa and Google Assistant 19
  Wemo Mini Smart Plug, Wi-Fi Enabled, Works with Amazon Alexa 21
Heating/Thermostats Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation, Stainless Steel, Works with Amazon Alexa 6
  ecobee3 Thermostat with Sensor, Wi-Fi, 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa 24
Smart Hubs/Remotes/ Interfaces Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub and App, Works with Amazon Alexa 14
  Samsung SmartThings Hub, 2nd Generation 26
Robotic Vacuums iRobot Roomba 690 Wi-Fi Connected Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Works with Amazon Alexa 9
iRobot Roomba 980 Wi-Fi Connected Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Works with Amazon Alexa 11

*OCR data reflecting Amazon 1st-party sellers only.

Today, more than 20 million households use Alexa. Home automation will be – once again – one of the leading gift categories in 2017, and Alexa-compatibility has become a major factor in those purchasing decisions. Amazon Echo continues to be preferred in the smart speaker space over established competitors such as Google as well as new rivals such as Samsung, but the real driving force in home automation is not the Echo but the Alexa technology itself. Even competitive speakers such as Sonos are choosing to integrate – rather than compete with – Alexa. This holiday season, Amazon Home Automation will be everywhere.

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