Voice Commerce Is Becoming the Norm

Alexa, add some paper towels to my order

In another sign that consumers are comfortable shopping via smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home, new data from research firm Delineate finds that many are turning to such devices to order groceries or toiletries.   

Indeed, more than a third (35%) of US voice-enabled speaker owners surveyed in February 2018 said they have done so—presumably at least once—while another 22% said they've done so frequently. 

How they add items to their shopping cart varies, however. Some place more frequent orders with smaller carts, likely doing so as products run out, while others add items to their cart over time and place the order at a later date. 

Interestingly, respondents who frequently use their smart speakers to shop are more likely to add items to their cart over time and place an order later than doing so right away. Perhaps because they're working toward a free shipping goal before completing a purchase.

Delineate’s findings mirror another survey conducted recently by OC&C Strategy Consultant, which found that 12% of US voice-enabled speaker owners have asked their device to add an item to a basket, likely with the intent of finalizing the purchase online or in-app later on.

And this trend of voice commerce is growing rapidly. 

A November 2017 survey from Capgemini showed that over a third of virtual assistant users in Western Europe and the US bought a consumer product or retail item using a voice assistant. And they don't just shop for physical items. The study found that a significant number of respondents purchased some type of service, like a meal, via the platform.

eMarketer estimates the number of US voice-enabled digital assistant users will reach 69.0 million in 2018, and that figure is expected to grow to 75.5 million by 2019.