Only 13% shoppers buy regularly via smart speakers as they ‘don’t know how to’

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With talks of smart speakers becoming a useful tool to order products, it appears that only a small percentage of British consumers live up to these expectations, says new research by Awin.

The study polled more than 2,000 adults as part of ongoing research into the online shopping habits of British consumers. All respondents taking part admitted to owning a smart speaker before being questioned on their relationship with the ‘smart home’ technology.

When looking at the use of smart speakers for shopping, 21% of the British respondent admit to having used the device to shop online. However, only 13% of this cohort use voice search regularly to purchase products online.

Smart speaker owners were found to use their product an average of twice per week. Some 18% of the respondents use it daily, compared to 14% who admit to using it very rarely.

The majority of consumers are using their smart speaker to assist them with shopping rather than buying items. Some 46% have used theirs to research products they will then purchase more traditionally, with 40% using them to make shopping lists and 23% to conduct a price comparison.

The report says that the majority of shoppers don’t go out of their way to purchase a smart speaker device. More than half (51%) of British consumers were gifted a voice-assisted device as a birthday or Christmas present. Some 18% of the polled shoppers admitted theirs was an impulse purchase that they now regret.

Why shoppers aren’t purchasing via smart speakers?

Shoppers say that the lack of knowledge behind how their device works and fear of accidentally ordering the wrong items are the biggest reasons for not using the devices more regularly to purchase online.

Some 23% of the polled consumers say they ‘don’t know how’ to use the device to order products. Whereas, 21% of the shoppers say that they ‘don’t want to accidentally order the wrong thing,’ with 16% of consumers saying that the ‘the process is too complicated.’

The respondents (9%) also cited an incident of ordering the wrong item shopping via the speaker. Some 12% of the polled shoppers admit to giving up in the process and continued their journey elsewhere.

How can smart speakers improve in usability?

Consumers haven’t yet transitioned from the traditional way of shopping to buying via smart speakers. They still remain sceptical towards the technology automating their purchases. They put this down to the complexity of ordering via voice-assisted devices. Consumers say that if the devices were more seamless to use, they would consider using them more to shop.

The findings haven’t specified which devices shoppers are using, making it difficult to know which ones need improvements. However, it is more likely that it’s Amazon Alexa, Apple Home Pod or Google Home.

3 Responses

  1. Why shoppers aren’t purchasing via smart speakers?

    KIDS and Wifes who think money grows on trees….plus I actually do not like that Alexa thing living in the house anymore…cannot be trusted…

    It will not happen big fuss just like 3d TVs a few years ago Boom then bust..way to limited a field to shop from and very anti competitive and people like to see if not touch so much a purchase they have worked for.

  2. I wouldn’t ‘buy’ using a smart speaker as I like to choose where I buy. I want to see the prices available, check the description and see the feedback of the seller. I’m not going to just let Amazon or Google charge me whatever they like and likely send me the wrong item.

  3. great so first we have people who fail to read listings…. now we have people practically buying blind!
    It all sounds great but in many cases a visual respresentation is key to a correct purchase. Say to blue to 20 people and they will proberly all have a slightly different take on it from dark blue to light blue… This is not different to reading a description… but actually seeing it, well that sorts that.
    The amount of returns businesses are getting from incorretcly purchased items is constantly going up, this will only add to that. So more costs to sellers and higher prices to buyers. plus no one is talking about the enviromental issues caused by duplicate packaging and multiple transport journeys sending stuff backa nd forwards.
    Just because you can do it… doesn’t mean it makes sense to do it. Maybe in the days of desktop pcs only, but with mobiles it kind of makes the job easy enough already.



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