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Two thirds of voice assistant and smart watch owners never make a purchase with them

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Two thirds of voice assistant and smart watch owners never make a purchase with them
Two thirds of voice assistant and smart watch owners never make a purchase with them
Talk of voice assistants and other smart devices becoming a new channel for retailers may be over egged, research has shown.

According to a study released today by Episerver, most consumers don’t even own one of these devices, and those that do aren’t using them to browse or make purchases. In fact, of the nearly 40% of consumers who own a voice-assisted devices, 60% never browse on them and two-thirds (66%) never make purchases on them.

The survey of more than 4,000 global consumers found that while more established devices such as smartphones have gained a foothold, digital devices like smartwatches and voice-assisted devices have yet to catch on for shoppers.

The same goes for a number of other smart devices. While 35% of consumers own a smartwatch, 66% never browse on their device and 70% never purchase. Nearly a third of shoppers (29%) browse on their smartphones daily, but only 27% of those shoppers go on to make a purchase on their devices at the same frequency.

More than half (51%) of shoppers who never want to try new technology functions again report it’s because these technologies did not improve their experiences and more than half of shoppers have tried or would be willing to try chat windows for assistance and smart mirrors at 59 and 57%, respectively.

That said, 30% of consumers are interested in trying drone delivery.

So why is this happening?  According to Episerver, while adoption of virtual assistants is on the rise, it believes that the current reluctance to shop via this technology comes down to the command-based nature of voice communication. Without a visual interface, voice assistants don’t lend themselves to leisurely browsing. Instead, users are expected to know exactly what they want and then provide that command to the assistant.
 These technologies also don’t necessarily provide shoppers with the convenience of choice that they may have come to expect when shopping online.

"As one example, consider buying an item of clothing. In an app or web browser shoppers can easily specify different fits, sizes, styles and colours," says Joey Moore, Director of Product Marketing at Episerver. "They can also easily shop around for the best offers and deals. When buying through a purely voice-based interface however, the notion of reeling through all of these options simply isn’t practical."

Moor continues: "At the same time, today’s consumers still enjoy the process of browsing. Even if they shop with a set product in mind, people like the serendipity of coming across items that they may not otherwise have found, and that’s evident in the success of personalised recommendations throughout the customer journey. Voice interfaces remove this experience, taking away a fundamental part of the customer experience that many brands have spent years developing through their user interfaces online."
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