Procurement · 28 February 2018

Voice commerce is expected to be worth 3.5bn in just four short years

Smart speakers like Amazon Echo are expected to change the face of retail
In the UK, one in ten households already owns either an Amazon Echo or a Google Home device. How close are we to entrusting our shopping lists to our digital assistants?

One tenth of UK households own a smart speaker, and this figure is projected to rise to 48 per cent by 2022, paving the way for voice-activated devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home to become the next retail disruption. In fact, voice shopping is expected to be worth around 3.5bn by then.

According to data from OC&C Strategy Consultants, Amazon’s Echo is leading the way in voice commerce, with eight per cent of households owning one of these devices, compared to just two per cent with a Google Home device.

Currently, voice purchases are made with speed and convenience in mind around 70 per cent of purchases are for a specific product, often a repeat order.

When browsing for items, Amazon offers recommendations based on popularity, price, deliverability etc. and 85 per cent of the time the recommendation is accepted. It is therefore in a brand’s interest to strive to become Amazon’s choice product yet this is more easily said than done, as four-five per cent of Amazon’s choice? products change daily due to stock or delivery speed issues.



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Another hurdle to overcome in the voice retail sector is trust at present, only 33 per cent of consumers trust in the personalised product selection of smart speakers and only 44 per cent believe they offer the best value.



Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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