Digital Assistants: Santa’s New Helper

More people are shopping via AI-powered assistants 

Author: Rimma Kats

December 8, 2017

Consumers have grown more comfortable with voice-enabled devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. So much so that many are considering using them for one of the most important tasks of the year—holiday shopping.

According to a new survey from SAP Hybris, 38% of US consumers said they would consider using AI-powered digital assistants for their holiday shopping needs, whether that’s to purchase gifts for others, research deals or buy items for themselves.

That’s a higher number than the 17% who actually used such devices during the holidays last year. In fact, SAP Hybris says that “consumers who used their devices for holiday shopping last year are more likely to use them again for the same purpose in 2017.”

One likely reason for this shift is that more consumers are comfortable shopping via AI-powered assistants, especially after having used them to shop in the past. Nearly half of respondents who had used an assistant to purchase something already said they’d consider using it again for holiday shopping in particular.

According to a recent comScore study, the smart speaker category has reached a critical adoption threshold. The study found that among US households with Wi-Fi, 11% owned a smart speaker as of October. That’s an increase from the 8.1% that had one in June.  

eMarketer is also seeing this trend take off. We estimate there will be 35.6 million voice-enabled speaker users in the US this year. By 2019, that figure will rise to 52.8 million.