Amazon vs. Google: The Battle for Smart Speaker Market Share
To see the full resolution version of this infographic that has higher legibility, click here.
Steve Rabuchin, the VP of Amazon Alexa, has a vision. He dreams of customers having a conversation – not just with voice-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo, but with appliances, cars, and everything in between.
Though that dream may not be realized in the short term, sales of smart speakers are increasing as people warm up to the idea of using voice-assisted devices in their homes.
Today’s infographic, from Raconteur, sheds light on the fight for smart speaker market share, how early adopters are using the devices, and the growing array of voice-enabled devices currently on the market.
Moving into the Mainstream
When the Amazon Echo entered the market in 2015, it kicked off a new wave of demand for voice-activated smart speakers. At the time, it was unclear whether a large segment of the population would use a smart speaker, but consecutive years of rising sales are putting those worries to rest.
A recent study from Juniper Research found that smart speakers such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the Sonos One will be installed in over 70 million U.S. households by 2022, reaching 55% of all homes.
The recent flurry of holiday device buying seems to support this prediction. Smart speaker sales in the U.S. rose sharply to nearly 25 million in 2017, with close to 11 million purchased during the holiday season. Thanks to lower price points and wider distribution, this trend will likely continue through 2018 and beyond.
Competition is Heating Up
Amazon’s first-mover advantage resulted in an imposing 94% market share by Q3 2016 – but since then, Google Home has been eating into that lead. Experts predict that Echo will remain the top smart speaker in the future, but that Google and Chinese brands like JD and Xiaomi will continue to grow in popularity.
The two tech giants are fighting hard for the early majority because smart speakers are such a powerful gateway into their ecosystem of services and data collection.
Perhaps anticipating a binary market, Sonos is looking to win by taking a slightly different approach. Since the company is doesn’t have an existing suite of consumer services, it’s shipping devices with Alexa integration and opening up the platform to developers (think voice-activated apps). Customers who are suspicious of ulterior motives and integration limitations of the larger brands may gravitate toward a more open, agnostic approach.
You have no idea what people are going to build. When Apple opened iOS, the first thing people made was the fart app.
– Antoine Leblond, VP of Software Development at Sonos
To add even more excitement to the race for market share dominance, Apple is launching a smart speaker called HomePod in early 2018.
The Path to IoT is Voice Enabled
For now, smart speakers are primarily a fancy way to people to stream music or get tomorrow’s weather forecast, but they are a critical first step in the impending shift toward the “connected home”.
Most people don’t currently live in a place that supports full-on integration with smart speakers, but once they begin using voice-enabled devices, they are more likely to take smaller steps such as rewiring light switches.
The shift towards smart homes is predicted to generate a lot of revenue in coming years – and companies like Amazon and Google see smart speakers as a foot-in-the-door. If trends continue, these tech giants stand a good chance of taking over as the nerve center for peoples’ homes as an IoT-driven future unfolds.
33 years after the debut of The Clapper, tech companies have found a better (and far more profitable) hands-free way to turn the lights out.
How to Take the First Steps in Scaling Your Business
What are the roadblocks to achieving scale? We look at these growing pains, as well as the steps needed to get past them in scaling your business.
How to Take the First Steps in Scaling Your Business
Most entrepreneurs are hungry to bring their company to the next level.
Whether they operate a family-run business or a rapidly evolving tech startup, there is always another milestone in sight. Business owners want to their companies to make an impact with their customers and communities, and they want to keep honing their craft.
But with 27.9 million small businesses in the United States alone, there is no shortage of competition for the same pieces of the pie.
How can you take steps in scaling your business, and do what your competitors are not willing to do?
Roadblocks to Scale
Today’s infographic comes to us from Brunner Consulting, and it breaks down common roadblocks to scaling as well as potential solutions to the problem of decision fatigue.
To begin, we’ll look at a poll of U.S. small business owners, which gives perspective on the challenges most often faced by companies with fewer than 10 employees:
- Profitability (50%)
- Hiring new employees (48%)
- Growing revenue (41%)
- Cash flow (38%)
Unless a business has deep pocketbooks or is venture-backed, there are several obstacles here that may prevent companies from scaling successfully.
A lack of profitability is an obvious limitation, but it’s also clear that revenue growth, cash flow, and adding new employees can be growing pains that may derail any long-term plans.
Why is scaling your business so challenging?
It’s because most types of businesses are not really scalable to begin with. The only sustainable way to scale for most companies is to grow revenue while decreasing operating costs, and for many traditional small businesses (i.e. bakeries, restaurants, hardware stores, consulting, etc.) this can be incredibly difficult.
Even if you come up with a scalable business model, there is yet another obstacle that can prevent your from growing the right way: decision fatigue.
In a growing and evolving company, entrepreneurs can’t do everything – and when they try to make every big and small decision, it affects the quality of those decisions. It can lead to being unnecessarily risk averse, maintaining the status quo, or even avoiding decisions altogether.
Scaling Your Business: First Steps
For a business to grow, there has to be more than one decision-maker.
There are two main routes to this:
1. Delegate Responsibility
In a typical small business, employees find and diagnose problems, while owners focus on solving them. However, by delegating these day-to-day decisions to employees, it frees up owners to work on the big picture items that can fuel growth.
2. Play to Your Strengths
Entrepreneurs can’t do it all, so it’s best to play to your strengths. To do this, outsource business departments that are outside of your wheelhouse. Often those may include things like bookkeeping, marketing, customer service, or website design.
Decentralizing decision-making is one of the first steps in scaling your business – and no matter how you do this, it frees you to focus on the big problems.
The World’s Best and Worst Places for Ease of Doing Business
In some countries, launching a business is easy. In others? It’s a hassle that is littered with bureaucracy, corruption, and a lack of basic services.
The Best and Worst Places for Ease of Doing Business
The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.
When it comes to supporting new businesses, not all jurisdictions are created equal.
Whether it’s the basics, like hooking up electricity and registering the business, or more complex regulatory hurdles, your location can impact the success of your venture in a big way. What makes a country business-friendly, and where are the most hassle-free places to open up shop?
The Ease of Doing Business ranking, by World Bank, breaks countries’ complex regulatory ecosystems down into quantifiable components. The resulting index and ranking system is a global look at who’s making it easy to do business, and which countries are struggling.
A Global View of Doing Business
The visualization below looks at the score (0-100) of 190 economies around the world, as well as a spread between high and low scoring factors in the subindices. While two countries may have the same score, one might have a much wider “spread” which points to outlaying successes or serious challenges in their regulatory framework.
Luxembourg, for example, ranked number one in the Trading Across Borders factor, but 173rd in Getting Credit.
Note: click the graphic below of the full list to expand to a higher resolution.
View a high resolution version of this graphic.
Of the 190 economies covered in the report, New Zealand comes out on top for the third year in a row. Singapore and Denmark round out the top three.
The United States, whose ranking has been slipping in recent years, came in at 8th spot.
This ranking offers up some surprises, such as Macedonia and Georgia, which are both in the top 10. Georgia makes it easy to start a new business, and has the lowest number of procedures to get the process going.
Afghanistan had the biggest year-over-year score increase after making big strides in enhancing the legal framework for businesses.
Rwanda is ranked at a very respectable 29th place – the only low-income economy to crack the top 50.
Building the Index
The data for the ranking is compiled from over 12,500 expert contributors in 190 countries who deal with business regulations on a daily basis. The final score is based on the average of 11 factors:
- Starting a business – Procedures, time, cost, and minimum capital to open a new business
- Dealing with construction permits – Procedures, time, and cost to build a warehouse
- Access to electricity – Procedures, time, and cost required to obtain an electricity connection for a new warehouse
- Registering property – Procedures, time, and cost to register commercial real estate
- Procuring credit – Strength of legal rights index, depth of credit information index
- Protecting investors – Indices on the extent of disclosure, extent of director liability and ease of shareholder suits
- Paying taxes – Number of taxes paid, total tax payable as share of gross profit, and hours per year spent preparing tax returns
- Trading across borders – Number of documents, cost, and time necessary to import and export
- Enforcing contracts – Procedures, time, and cost to enforce a debt contract
- Resolving insolvency – The time, cost, and recovery rate (%) under bankruptcy proceeding
- Labor market regulation – Flexibility in employment regulation and aspects of job quality
Markets2 months ago
The Jeff Bezos Empire in One Giant Chart
Maps4 months ago
Mercator Misconceptions: Clever Map Shows the True Size of Countries
Advertising1 month ago
Meet Generation Z: The Newest Member to the Workforce
Misc4 months ago
24 Cognitive Biases That Are Warping Your Perception of Reality
Technology2 months ago
The 20 Internet Giants That Rule the Web
Environment4 weeks ago
The World’s 25 Largest Lakes, Side by Side
Healthcare4 months ago
An Illustrated Subway Map of Human Anatomy
Chart of the Week2 months ago
Chart: The World’s Largest 10 Economies in 2030