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Voice Assistant Transactions Will Reach $19.4B by 2023: Report

Voice assistants will handle $19.4 billion in transactions by 2023, according to a new report by JuniperResearch. The 320% growth from the expected $4.6 billion this year is attributable partly to more people having access to a voice assistant, particularly devices with both voice assistants and screens, to smooth the way to making a purchase.

Buy Talk

The new report pinned the huge voice commerce uptick on the expectation that there will be a lot more devices around with voice assistants. The number of smart speakers will jump over 50% globally from now to 2023, according to the researchers. All of those potential customers will need third-party retailers to sell through the major voice assistants created by Amazon, Google, and Apple to buy by voice, which the report says would be to the advantage of both sides of the partnership. At the same time, the researchers suggest retailers may be reluctant to set up operations on a smart speaker as opposed to a smart display, smart television, or another smart device with a screen. People are also just more comfortable using their voice to make purchases when they can see what they are going to buy and visually observe the process.

“Users will generally use voice assistants to initially explore a product, before completing the purchase via a device with a screen,” report co-author Meike Escherich said. “Voice assistant platforms must ensure that the user experience is so seamless that transactions are carried out via these platforms, rather than requiring additional devices.”

Mobile Inclusion

Juniper’s new voice commerce research has made a notable expansion to mobile devices from its previous report on the topic last November. That study focused solely on smart home devices, leaving out mobile devices, which the new report acknowledges will be “dominant” in voice commerce usage. And voice assistant developers do seem to be thinking along similar lines to Juniper. Amazon introduced exactly the kind of streamlined system for third-party retailers to connect to Alexa last month, and both Alexa and Google Assistant have been experimenting with new ways to leverage screens on devices for voice commerce.

As for what people will buy, multiple surveys have found groceries and household supplies to be the most popular voice commerce purchase, though that may change over time. On the other hand, how people feel about voice commerce appears unaffected by their purchases, with satisfaction hovering around 60% of people regardless of product type, according to a recent study contribution of mobile and automobile-based voice commerce. The numbers do suggest that the privacy concerns that often limit people’s willingness to do their shopping by voice may fade over the next couple of years, though the mechanism for allaying such a widespread fear is hard to picture.


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