New Smart Speaker Owners Using Them More for Pre-Purchase Product Research
The Smart Audio Report for July 2018 from Edison Research and NPR found that a rising number of new smart speaker owners are using them to research products before purchase. Edison surveyed 900 U.S. adult smart speaker owners in May 2018 an asked them about a variety of attitudes and behaviors related to using the devices. The survey also differentiated between “early mainstream” users that had owned a device for less than one year and “first adopters” that had owned smart speakers for a year or more. First adopters were more likely to re-order past purchases using their smart speaker than early mainstream users by a margin of 22% to 16%. However, both cohorts were equally likely to make new purchases of items they had not ordered previously or place an item in their shopping cart for later pruchase.
The more striking difference was the use of smart speakers for pre-purchase product research. Only 23% of first adopters had used a smart speaker for researching items before purchase, but 37% of new device owners had adopted this use case. This is an important finding for retailers and product sellers. Transactions are only one element of the path to purchase where voice assistants will have an influence. Product search and consideration are also areas where voice is already playing a role. This begs the question of how many product sellers are actually ready to serve up information in response to voice queries about their product or category. The answer is very few.
Smart Speaker Voice Shoppers Ordering About 10 Times Per Year
Edison also asked voice shoppers how frequently they placed orders through their smart speakers. Early mainstream users showed a higher frequency of ordering at 2.7 purchases in the past three months whereas first adopters only reported 2.1. Again, we are seeing mainstream users more interested in using voice for shopping activities.
A weighted average of users suggests 2.54 orders per quarter or 10 voice orders per year are being placed by smart speaker-based shoppers. That could easily result in more than 100 million voice orders placed through smart speakers in 2018 when you consider smart speakers ownership and the voice shopping rate. Voice shopping is just getting started, but evidence from Edison Research and Voicebot’s Voice Shopping Consumer Adoption Report both point to consumer readiness for voice commerce.