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Voice-controlled tech still unpopular for online shopping

20 March 2018 - 08:57 by Graham Miller

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In spite of the fact that devices like the Amazon Echo speaker and the Google Home hub are more popular than ever, the majority of owners have yet to harness them for safe shopping online.

This is according to a new survey from Episerver, which found that just 33 per cent of consumers who have a voice-controlled smart device at their disposal have actually bought something from an e-commerce platform using it.

Internet Retailing reports that 4,000 people from around the world participated in the study, with analysts concluding that the rise of voice search capabilities is not actually having the effect of improving the way that people buy items online.

A similar trend is found among the 35 per cent of people who own a smart watch. Two thirds have not used their wearable device to browse the web, let alone carry out safe shopping online from it.

Most of the respondents said that they were not interested in the shopping-related functions of new devices and technologies, or had found that their e-commerce experience did not improve when they used them.

This suggests that there is a difference between the eagerness of people to get the latest gadgets and their willingness to actually use them to change the way they shop.

When asked about new delivery options that are available, 30 per cent said they would be interested in getting packages shipped to them via autonomous drone, which bodes well for Amazon thanks to its investment in this tech.

Baked-in shopping features are common on smart speakers and other voice-controlled devices, but for the time being it seems like people are content to shop from their smartphone or computer using a standard site or app, rather than having to talk through the processes aloud with a digital assistant.