The US-based ecommerce giant Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa saw a 67% rise in user interactions in India last year, as the company embedded the product inside several of its apps and third-party smart devices.
The company said Alexa responded to over 5.8 lakh requests every day to search for products, best deals, and music on the shopping app. Alexa’s collection of stories has also expanded its integration with Amazon Audible, the audio storytelling app.
Claiming that millions of Indians use Alexa in India, Amazon said more customers from non-metro cities bought an Echo device, almost half of Alexa users in the country. Customers from over 85% pin codes purchased Echo smart speakers in 2020.
Amazon launched Alexa in India in October 2017, but it was available only on three Amazon devices from the Echo lineup and a couple of third-party devices. Today, Alexa is embedded in Amazon’s shopping app, FireTV, Amazon Prime Music, Prime Video as well as third-party laptops, televisions, smartphones and smart home appliances. Electronics brands such as Fitbit, Samsung, Redmi, Bose, Sony, HP and LG devices offer Alexa inside their products and services.
“We are building an environment where, as the voice revolution is happening, we want to make voice available to all manufacturers, third parties, small and large companies,” said Puneesh Kumar, country leader for Alexa at Amazon India. “We have tried to get multiple manufacturers so customers can pick and choose.”
In 2019, Amazon rolled out an update which enabled Alexa to speak in Hindi. The company plans to make the voice assistant available for more Indian regional languages in the near future. In November of that year, Amazon claimed that it had seen a six-fold increase in the number of customers using Alexa.
In 2018, Amazon had claimed to have doubled the number of daily users interacting with Alexa and Echo devices. Then in 2018, Amazon reported that it built more than 70K skills for Alexa, and got over 28K smart home devices compatible with the AI assistant, as compared to 4,500 brands at the beginning of that year.
Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced that he will be stepping down from his post by the third quarter of 2021, handing over the reins to Andy Jassy, who currently leads Amazon’s cloud computing wing Amazon Web Services (AWS).