Voice Shopping Holds Promise: According to a new Forrester Research brief, the US installed smart speaker base will grow from 21 million last year to 166 million by 2022. Consumers' comfort level with using smart speakers in the path to purchase is also on the rise. Currently, 8% of users research products and 12% order items via an Amazon Echo-type device. However, 54% are interested in using a smart speaker for research, and 48% to buy. eMarketer projects 18.2% of the US population will use voice-enabled speakers by 2021.
Aldi Makes Good: Germany's no-frills grocer Aldi has been on an expansion tear in recent years, and it appears to be paying off. A YouGov comparison to more established The Kroger Co. found that Aldi doubled its "impression score" (on a scale of -100 to +100) from 15 in January 2013 to 29 in March 2018. Kroger, meanwhile, remained at 30 over the same timeframe. And when US consumers were asked about where they were more likely to shop next for groceries, Aldi beat Kroger, 26% vs. 23%. Aldi shoppers are more likely to be on a budget (68%) than Kroger customers (59%), however. Kroger is concentrating on ecommerce efforts like a new partnership with Instacart.