More than four in 10 US smart speaker users are expected to use their devices to make purchases, according to a forecast from eMarketer. This year, the number of consumers who shop via smart speaker is set to rise 31.6 percent to 31 million consumers, and another 11.8 percent to 34.7 million in 2020 and 38 million by 2021. EMarketer defines shopping as “browsing, researching products, and adding things to a shopping cart.”
The smart speaker market shows no signs of slowing down. In a June 2019 survey, Bizrate Insights found that 21 percent of US smart speaker owners said they purchased entertained via their smart speaker. Comparatively, 11 percent said the same in October 2018. Additionally, 14 percent of those surveyed said they made a repeat purchase product in June 2019, compared with 11 percent in October 2018.
This year, 21 million people will make at least one purchase on a smart speaker. Per eMarketer, the majority of these smart speaker purchases will comprise electronic media, namely music and movies.
Increased adoption of the smart speaker doesn’t mean that consumers are going to start utilizing the device as their preferred shopping method, though. Among smart speaker owners who asked for product recommendations, the number declined from 18 percent in October 2018 to 15 percent in June 2019.
In 2018, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that 70 million households will own a smart speaker by 2022. The IAB expects there will be over 870 billion voice assistant-enabled devices in the US by that same year.
“Although smart display speakers like the Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo Show are growing in popularity, they still make up a small share of the market, so the main hindrance to buying through smart speakers—the inability to view products—will remain relevant. In addition, many smart speaker users are simply uninterested in using their devices for anything other than the tried-and-true functions with which they were meant to assist: news and weather updates, playing music and asking basic questions,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst, Jaimie Chung.