The Amazon Echo is having its mainstream moment

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The little talking speaker that could, Amazon’s Echo, is moving into the breakout phase of its success, according to data collected by analysts firm Slice Intelligence. The Echo is coming off a tremendously successful holiday shopping season, which saw not only a high volume of sales, but a key evolution in consumer demographics that’s driving sales from a broader cross-section of buyers.

Slice found that 50 percent of revenue related to Echo came from women, a trend which is a big change from the patterns at device launch, when overwhelming men tend to be the ones buying Echo. Slice identified this tendency originally around the launch of the first Echo, and now again during this most recent holiday season around the release of the new Echo Dot.

That’s not the only sign that Echo is going mainstream, however. Slice notes that Generation X and Baby Boomer cohort consumers are also driving a significant amount of Echo purchases, which is another key indicator of wider market penetration, since millennials tend to be more early adopters for tech and gadgets.

avg-spend-pre-echo-by-group

Slice also found that regular ecommerce shoppers made up a huge percentage of early Echo buyers, but that now first-time Echo buyers are not necessarily heavy online shoppers, which is also in keeping with more mainstream spending habits.

Unsurprisingly, Slice also found that the very affordable Echo Dot was the most popular option over the holidays, while the Echo followed fairly closely in second place, and the Tap earned only a tiny fraction of sales according to its data. The Echo in general saw sales surge significantly between November and December, with Cyber Weekend essentially doubling sales on any other day combination. Amazon had stock-outs for a significant portion of the holiday season, thanks to strong consumer appetite.

Echo’s growth and mainstream momentum is huge news for both the company and for voice-based interfaces, since it means a lot more people who otherwise might not be used to speaking aloud to accomplish any computing will now have regular exposure to that interaction method.