Digital Assistant Users Say Their Shopping Habits Are Changing

Fewer in-store purchases

Author: Rimma Kats

May 12, 2017

Are virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa changing how consumers shop? According to a new survey, yes.


More than half of respondents surveyed by Toluna, a provider of real-time digital consumer insights, said they make fewer in-store purchases because of their virtual assistant.

Responses did vary by age, but were not surprising.

For example, 58.4% of 18- to 34-year-olds and 51.6% of 35- to 54-year-olds said they made less in-store purchases because of these devices. But very few respondents (3.3%) ages 55 and older did.

Similarly, internet users said that their virtual assistants also affected their online purchases. Fully 21.1% of respondents said they made fewer online purchases using traditional web browsers.

A minority of internet users surveyed said virtual assistants had no effect on their shopping behavior. And again, not surprisingly, 60% of respondents ages 55 and older and that virtual assistants didn’t affect their shopping behavior—more than six times the number respondents who felt the same way.

Virtual assistants are becoming more widely used by Americans, according to eMarketer’s first forecast on users of digital assistants. This year, 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month. That’s a jump of 128.9% over last year.