Last June, Amazon launched Alexa, its voice assistant, to the French market. The launch which was highly anticipated, even after being delayed a few times. So, how is Alexa doing, 4 months later?

Finally! After months of waiting, Amazon announced the launch of its Echo smart speakers to the French market last June. To start, the tech giant introduced three devices: Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, its smallest version, and Echo Spot, which includes a circular touch screen.

How does Amazon explain this long wait? The language! Amazon needed and still needs time to translate Alexa to French, and especially, to adapt it to the numerous accents and to the “colouration of the language”. A job that Amazon’s rival Google had done a long time ago, because Google Assistant was available as a mobile app well before the launch of its Home device.

But there is another challenge for Amazon: to partner with French companies. For now, French users can, for example, listen to news from France Inter, RTL, Le Parisien, France Info, Brut or Capital, book a restaurant on LaFourchette, or even order an Uber or a pizza from Domino’s.

This partnership portfolio keeps being enriched by the firm, month after month. And there’s still a lot to do: Alexa reportedly counts 200 skills in France, while 40,000 are available in the US.

September: a new Amazon Echo range lands in France

Amazon France announced at the end of last September the launch of four new connected devices. The first of them, Smart Plug, allows the user to switch on or off any electrical appliance, just using his/her voice.

Echo Sub, second product in our list, is a subwoofer completing Echo speakers to improve the depth of the sound.

As its name suggests, Echo Plus is an improved version of Echo. Bigger and more expensive, it has a greater sound potency and an integration with Zigbee. This integration allows the user to control devices that are not designed by Amazon, a sign that Amazon is willing to work with every actor on the market.

Finally, Echo Dot, the speaker’s “mini” version, is updated with a new design and an improved sound quality.

Nevertheless, Amazon is still very far away from offering the same range in France as it does in the US. The giant has recently announced the launch of many new smart devices across the Atlantic. For instance, Echo Auto makes your car Alexa enabled, and competes with Google’s popular Android Auto. Echo Input is able to make any regular speaker Alexa-ready. Finally, Amazon unveiled a connected microwave and a connected wall clock, both working with Alexa. Last but not least, Echo Show, a speaker equipped with a large screen, still unavailable in France, is updated with a new design.

Why is Amazon launching all these devices? Amazon definitely wants to integrate Alexa in every moment of its users’ lives. In this way, the firm’s goal is not to use Alexa only as a new e-commerce channel: actually, according to a recent study, only 2% of Alexa’s users are using the voice assistant to order something on Amazon.com.

Amazon’s strategy is to launch a maximum of connected devices, either to replace OR to adapt existing appliances. This approach is really different to that of Google and Apple. If Google is launching a limited range of devices, Apple does not make the “network effet” its priority. Apple’s business model is indeed more based on selling devices rather than services.

Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant… Which platform should you use to launch your voice bot?

If you are thinking of making your brand or company voice-ready, you are probably wondering which platform is the most used by your clients.

Of course, Amazon Echo’s market share in France is not known yet. We can imagine it is lower than Google’s, as Google Home was launched earlier to the market. However, on a global scale, Amazon is the leader, with a market share of 30%, according to the Strategy Analytics consultancy. Its market share reportedly reaches 70% in the US!

The table above demonstrates that the most relevant strategy would be launching your voice assistant on both platforms. Thus, launching your voice bot on both Amazon Alexa AND Google Assistant would allow you to reach around 50% of connected speaker users. This percentage should actually be even higher in France, because some platforms such as Alibaba’s AliGenie are not available to the market.

Convinced? Yelda offers you an unique SaaS platform, on which you can create yourself, in minutes, your own voice assistant, compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Facebook Messenger.