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Just 1 in 7 smart speaker owners regularly uses device to shop online

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New research has found that, whilst more than a fifth of smart speaker owners have made a purchase online, only 13% would class themselves as regular users, with a lack of knowledge behind how their device works and a fear of accidently ordering the wrong items the biggest reasons behind why.

With the likes of Amazon, Apple and Google having all launched smart speaker devices in recent years, it has emerged that a large percentage of Britons who’ve invested in the technology are wary of using theirs to make online purchases from home. Researching a product, making a shopping list and doing a price comparison were all found to be more common practices on a speaker than making a purchase.

The study was undertaken by the team behind global affiliate network, who polled over 2,000 adults as part of ongoing research into the online shopping habits of British consumers. All respondents taking part admitted to owning a smart speaker prior to being questioned on their relationship with the ‘smart home’ technology. 

More than half (51%) were gifted their smart speaker by a loved one as a birthday or Christmas present, whilst a further 18% admitted theirs was an impulse purchase that they now regret.

Smart speaker owners were found to use their product an average of twice per week, and around 18% of respondents use it daily, and a further 14% said that they used it very rarely, if ever.

When looking at the use of the smart speakers for shopping, 21% of the respondent admits to having used the device to shop online. From this pool, 13% shop regularly (more than once a month) using the smart speaker.

The respondents also commented on the fact that a small group (9%) ordered the wrong item shopping via the speaker and 12% gave up in the process and continued their journey elsewhere. 

When asked why they hadn’t made an online purchase using their smart speaker, the most common answers given by relevant respondents were ‘I don’t know how’ (23%), ‘I don’t want to accidentally order the wrong thing’ (21%) and ‘the process is too complicated’ (16%).

Conversely, the process of purchasing through a smart speaker being made quicker and easier were revealed as the top two reasons that would incentivise Britons to shop online more. 

Next to this we can conclude that the majority of consumers are using their smart speaker to assist them with shopping rather than actually buying items, as it was found that 46% have used theirs to research products they will then buy in a more traditional manner, 40% have made shopping lists and 23% have used one to conduct a price comparison. 

Commenting on the findings of the study, Ian Charlesworth, UK Country Manager at global affiliate network, says: “The process of online shopping is complex and continually evolving. The “Internet of Things” (IOT) sees a variety of devices connected to one another and the internet and smart speakers are just one of many ways that this technology can be used. I remain sceptical just how far consumers will allow this kind of technology to automate their online purchases – it makes sense for replenishment of consumables but beyond that I think that people still want engage with suppliers and their products before making a decision to purchase.”

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