How Brand Loyalty Plays Out in Voice Commerce

Millennials are more likely to take Alexa’s product advice

Author: Jen King

August 13, 2018

One downside of voice commerce is the inability to browse products before making a purchase. Instead, consumers must trust the product suggestions of voice assistants like Alexa or Siri.

According to a Digitas survey, conducted in June 2018 by The Harris Poll, US smart speaker buyers are most receptive to buying personal care/wellness products (39%) and beauty supplies (38%) via voice commerce. That’s because when buying consumer packaged goods (CPGs), the consumer tends to be familiar with the product, perhaps asking for it by name.

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However, 85% of respondents said that on occasion they’ve gone with their virtual assistant’s top product recommendation rather than the specific brand they set out to buy.

Age played a part in this buying behavior, with millennials (those 18 to 34) being more than twice as likely (37%) than those ages 45 and older (16%) to say they always or often purchase the suggested instead of their intended brand, especially if it’s cheaper.

But not all smart speaker shoppers blindly accept what’s being pushed by their virtual assistant. In fact, 11% won’t make a purchase at all if their brand isn’t suggested. More likely, respondents ask for additional product options (24%).

Still, others will switch to a different channel such as a mobile app (14%), web browser (11%) or head to a physical store (10%) to find the brand they want.

According to eMarketer’s estimates, the number of smart speaker users in the US will reach 76.5 million by 2020, up from 43.9 million in 2017. By the end of 2018, we estimate there will be 17.2 million US smart speaker voice buyers, making up 28.2% of US smart speaker users.