If you’re not yet in the smart home world, now is the time to jump in as Google slash the price of their Google Home device to £99 saving £30 from the normal £129 price tag. This makes it only £10 more expensive than the Amazon Echo 2nd Generation device.
If you want a low cost device you can also save a tenner on a Google Home Mini which are usually £49 each but now on sale at £39. Both the Google Home and Google Home mini offers run until at 7:59am BST on the 5th of September 2018.
There’s a debate to be had over which device to purchase, but generally speaking if you just want a smart speaker then either Google or Amazon Echo will fit the bill – both have reasonable quality sound and it will really depend on whether you use Google or Amazon for your music subscription. If you use Spotify either device will do.
Then you need to decide if you’re likely to use your device for home automation. Amazon wins if you have British Gas Hive as Echo can control your heating as well as other devices. Google have yet to add support for Hive heating. Apart from that, both devices support a wide range of third party smart home devices.
For general queries Google wins hands down, however over the past few years since Alexa was launched Amazon have massively increased the range of information that Echo can cope with. It’s getting to the stage where there’s little difference between the devices but if you have an Android phone then you’ll be more familiar with Google Assistant and Google Home would be an option well worth considering.
Voice Shopping is what Amazon touts as a key feature of Amazon Echo, but in truth take up may be slower than anticipated. Amazon claim that millions of Echo users have placed orders using their voice alone, but it’s a tedious process and it’s likely that many of these orders are for very basic products or are repeat purchases rather than shoppers using voice shopping for browsing.
Here in the UK, voice shopping on Google Home is yet to be enabled so if voice shopping is important to you and you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber than an Echo would make more sense.
Ultimately, shopping is the feature of most interest to merchants and whilst, at least with Amazon Echo, it’s available it’s yet to take off to the extent that it grabs a significant share of the ecommerce market. It’s still important however as early adopters will drive the future of voice shopping – remember the days when people walking around with mobile phone bricks were derided… who hasn’t got a smartphone today?