Voice assisted purchasing hasn’t caught on whilst smartphones are used to browse products

Voice assistance may not be as successful in driving purchases as companies would hope it to be, according to a newly released study by software company Episerver. Indeed, the study found that a majority of consumers do not own devices such as smartwatches and only very few use voice assistance to make purchases.

Episerver surveyed 4,000 online shoppers across four markets and found that smartwatches and voice-assisted devices have not yet caught on compared to smartphones. Indeed, 75% of consumers are now using their smartphones to browse whilst 57% are making purchases on the devices. Of these, 29% check out products on their smartphones each day whilst around 50% do so weekly. However, just 27% of them actually made a purchase using their phones.

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“While consumers are willing to shop across channels now, they’re still warming up to new devices like voice assistants and smartwatches,” said Ed Kennedy, director of digital commerce strategy at Episerver.

Meanwhile, 35% of consumers own a smartwatch and 66% browse on them. However, 70% of smartwatch owners never make a purchase from the devices. In addition, two in five consumers own voice-assisted devices, but 60% never use them to browse or make purchases.

“It’s up to brands and retailers to set the tone here and nail down the search experience on these devices to ease customers into shopping with new technologies. Regardless of device, consumers expect frictionless and personalized shopping experiences that are consistent from one device to the next, and the brands who get this right across devices will emerge as the commerce leaders of tomorrow,” added Kennedy.

However, shoppers are interested in using chats for assistance (59%) and would also try smart mirrors when shopping instore (57%). Another 40% have previously tried augmented or virtual reality whilst shopping for a more memorable shopping experience.

“Today’s shoppers are interested in technology-rich experiences, but only if it’s done right,” said Joey Moore, director of product marketing at Episerver. “Rather than introducing novel technology for the sake of doing so, brands should implement tools like smart mirrors in-store and facial recognition sign-in online to make shopping easier, fast, more convenient and engaging.”

It appears that among the issues holding back consumers from trying new technologies is the lack of a clear advantage. Indeed, 51% of respondents said that the technology they tried didn’t actually improve their experience.