Amazon recently started to ship its Echo Auto device to pre-order customers, a belated delivery after the product’s launch in September. The device plugs into a car’s infotainment system and enables voice control functions. This move builds on Amazon’s expansion into the auto space: already, one in three auto brands tracked in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto features Echo integration.
In addition to driving innovations in automotive technologies, Amazon has been positioning itself as an important player in the online vehicle purchase process. Amazon’s Vehicles page has been servicing car buyers online since 2016, displaying cars on the same product grid pages it uses to spotlight consumer goods. While the platform lists all available brands on the market, only 77% of brands tracked by Gartner L2 link from Amazon’s product pages to their own branded sites, according to the Auto US: Digital Paths to Purchase report.
Two years after the launch of Amazon Vehicles, Hyundai became the first auto brand to build a dedicated brand page on the site, analogous to a BestBuy.com-hosted store-within-a-store for consumer electronics brands. Despite apparent investment, however, Hyundai’s digital showroom is not highlighted on the Amazon Vehicles hub and can only be found via branded search. If Amazon hopes for brands like Hyundai to invest in paid ads like other industries’ brands, the consumer goods giant must optimize page real estate for partnering brands to establish itself as an accessible and important source of information.