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amazon devices: Amazon Echo is coming to offline stores near you, Retail News, ET Retail

B
ENGALURU: Amazon India is tapping into offline retail stores to expand the sales of its Echo range of smart speakers as it drops the invite-only tag on these devices, nearly three-and-a-halfmonths after its debut.

Parag Gupta, head of product management and marketing, Amazon Devices, told ET that customers will now be able to purchase Echo devices from more than 350 retail outlets such as Croma, Reliance, Vijay Sales and Crossword, among others, across 20 cities in India. “Tens of thousands of customers have adopted Echo devices in India. We are now getting millions of utterances (voice commands) a week, which is among the highest in all the countries where Echo devices are currently available,” Gupta said.

Amazon is also introducing voice calling and messaging capabilities to its voice assistant Alexa, enabling users with an Echo device or Alexa mobile app to call or message their contacts who also have either an Echo device or the Alexa mobile app. Alexa has also received a major upgrade during this invitation phase with improved speech recognition, expanded local knowledge, new localised skills and better music selection. “We have added more than 1,000 skills in the first 60 days and currently offer more than 12,000 skills to customers,” said Puneesh Kumar, country manager - India, Alexa Experience & Devices.

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