Alexa – Are Americans ready to shop by voice?
Based on the increased adoption of the devices, eMarketer has raised its forecast for shopping activity on smart speakers.
The research firm now predicts 31 million U.S. consumers will shop via a smart speaker such as Google Home and Amazon Echo this year, up 31.6 percent from 2018. “Shopping” includes browsing, researching products and adding things to a shopping cart. By 2021, that figure is projected to climb to 38 million when more than four in 10 U.S. smart speakers are expected to be used for their shopping capabilities.
Comparatively, 21 million consumers are expected to make at least one purchase via smart speaker in 2019.
“New users are testing out the shopping-related features of their devices, and early adopters continue to utilize voice to search for products, ask for prices, and more,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst, Jaimie Chung, in a statement.
eMarketer noted that a June 2019 survey from Bizrate Insights showed 21 percent of U.S. smart speaker owners had ordered entertainment via their devices compared with the 11 percent who said the same in October 2018. Similarly, 14 percent re-ordered a previously purchased product in June 2019, up from 11 percent in October 2018.
eMarketer still believes the inability to view products is holding back buying. The research firm added that “many smart speaker users are simply uninterested in using their devices for anything other than the tried-and-true functions with which they were meant to assist: news and weather updates, playing music and asking basic questions.”
Other recent smart speaker findings:
- Adobe found that 36 percent of U.S. adults owned a smart speaker in February, up from 32 percent in June 2018.
- SUMO Heavy’s 2019 Voice Commerce survey found only 17 percent of respondents browsed or shopped using a voice assistant. Among heavy users (use daily or weekly), 42 percent have used a voice assistant to shop.
- The spring 2019 Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research found 58 percent of smart speaker owners worry that hackers could be using their smart speaker to get access to their home or personal information.
- Smart Speaker Shopping Gains Traction – eMarketer
- State of Voice – Adobe
- The SUMO Heavy 2019 Voice Commerce Survey – SUMO Heavy
- How Frequently Do US Consumers Use Voice Assistants? – MarketingCharts
- EMarketer: Shopping on smart speakers is growing faster than previously forecast – Mobile Marketer
- The Smart Audio Report – NPR
- Brands & Amazon: Insights, Opportunities, and Concerns in the Age of E-Commerce – Feedvisor
- Brands see voice ordering as more opportunity than threat – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Have you become more or less confident that smart speakers will become a major driver of shopping activity? What factors would accelerate or hamper their usage as a shopping tool?