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Shopping Via Smart Speaker Found to Be Uncommon

06 June 2019 - 15:32 by Sarah Collinson

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While the rise of the smart speaker has been rapid, the proportion of owners who choose to carry out safe shopping online from their Amazon Echo or Google Hub is very low.

In a new study from Awin, just one out of every seven smart speaker users admitted to having harnessed this device to make an online purchase, according to Internet Retailing.

A few reasons for this reluctance were pinpointed in the report, with the lack of accuracy offered by smart speaker solutions being seen as the biggest drawback.

The issue lies in the way that voice-controlled assistants handle requests. While it is not too much of a problem if a speaker misinterprets a command to play a song, it is a much bigger problem in an e-commerce context, since a mistake might mean that a completely different product is ordered and a customer is forced to make a return.

In short, it seems like the current generation of smart speakers lack the convenience or accuracy of shopping online from a smartphone, laptop or desktop PC. This is something that the companies behind them will need to address if they are to convince more customers to buy online using voice commands.

Indeed, it seems like in many cases the people who own smart speakers are not all that interested in the other functions that the device has to offer; 51 per cent of respondents to the survey said that the speaker was a gift rather than something they chose themselves, while almost a fifth said they bought one on impulse and wish that they had not taken the plunge.

Voice search and the related functionalities that go along with it has been increasing its influence gradually, yet it seems that this is doomed to remain a small niche rather than a dominant aspect of online shopping.