Purchases Via Speakers? Many Say 'Yes'

More than 25% of internet users see it as a possibility this year

Author: Monica Melton

July 17, 2017

More than one-quarter of US internet users say they are at least somewhat likely to make a purchase via a voice-enabled speaker product in the coming year. By comparison, 19% said they had made a purchase in the past year, so the proportion, not surprisingly, is on an upward trend, if not climbing sharply.

The survey results were released in the wake of Amazon Prime Day, a sales event that Amazon used to bolster voice-enabled sales, first by offering special promotions available to users of its Echo speaker, and then through a 30% discount on the Echo Dot, which ended up being Amazon’s best-selling product for the day, the company said.

But the survey itself was conducted in March, well before Prime Day and the increased awareness of voice-activated commerce that may have resulted from the event.

Nearly half of the survey respondents said they were not at all likely to make a voice-based purchase in the coming year, and another 19% said they were somewhat unlikely to do so.

While two-thirds of the respondents fell in the “unlikely” bucket, much of reason is likely tied to the fact that many internet users don’t yet own voice-enabled speakers and therefore are extremely unlikely to make a purchases via the devices.

According to eMarketer estimates that were released in April 2017, 13.0% of internet users are voice-enabled speaker users. That measure is expected to grow to 20.7% by 2020.

As of April 2017, eMarketer estimated that Amazon held the lion’s share of the voice-enabled speaker market, with a 70.6% share compared to Google Home’s 23.8%.

eMarketer expects Amazon’s market share to fall slightly in the coming years, as Google’s share grows. But Amazon will remain the dominant player in the category for the foreseeable future.