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Men Lead In Smart Speaker Shopping

Male ownership of smart speakers, including Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod, more than doubled in 2018—jumping to 47% ownership, up from 22% the year prior, according to a consumer survey from First Insight published in January 2019.

Also evidenced in the survey is how smart speaker shopping aligns more with male buying behaviors; 70% of men use the devices to research products and prices.

"Men are less browser-focused, and their replenishment cases are a lot higher. They are also looking for a greater number of brands and items earlier in their journey, so automation is easier with men," said Julien Boudet, partner at McKinsey & Company’s marketing and sales practice.

US consumers are still hesitant to shop with their smart speakers, according to December 2018 data from Bizrate Insights. But, interestingly, when it comes to adding products to their shopping carts and completing purchases via smart speakers, along with replenishing previously purchased products, men are twice as likely as women to do so.

“With more money to spend than women generally have, men may be more inclined to buy what’s still a very discretionary item. And men may still be more inclined to buy what’s a very discretionary item and pride themselves on having the latest gadgets,” said eMarketer senior analyst Mark Dolliver.

Amazon lends itself nicely to men’s shopping and buying behavior. First Insight found that 53% of men report shopping on Amazon six or more times per month—by contrast, 45% of women reported the same. What’s more, 60% of men say the number of purchases they’ve made on Amazon has increased in the past year.

“Men tend to be earlier adopters of consumer tech and may be more inclined to engage in more complex functions like voice-activated purchase,” said eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman. “Since they are also more frequent Amazon buyers, it makes sense that they would be leading the charge on replenishment buying via smart speakers.”