Smart speakers generate less enthusiasm among shoppers
Today’s shoppers have a growing digital toolkit for researching and buying – and they are developing clear favorites among the options at their disposal. New insights from GfK’s FutureBuy® show that augmented reality (AR) and subscription services are among the offerings creating enthusiasm among shoppers. Smart speakers, on the other hand, seem to be lagging when it comes to their perceived value as shopping tools.
The just-released research shows that only 8 percent of US shoppers are smart speaker converts – have used the devices for shopping and plan to do so again. But an equal proportion (8 percent) say they have tried smart speaker shopping and do not plan to again. (See Table 1.)
Another 36 percent of US shoppers seem to be hesitating about the concept, reporting they have not shopped with a smart speaker and do not plan to.
By contrast, 14 percent of shoppers have used subscription services (such as Stitch Fix) and plan to continue doing so; that is nearly double the smart speaker rate. Another 21 percent of shoppers report that they are likely or highly likely to try one of the services in the next year.
The study also found high levels of curiosity about some of the newest technologies. While only 5 percent of respondents said they have experienced shopping with augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) and plan to continue, a remarkable 25 percent report that they are likely to try it in the next year – the highest level of enthusiasm recorded in the survey.
“Beyond basic replenishment, more open ended shopping tasks – like ‘I want to buy a four-slice toaster’ – are still clunky and unsatisfying for shoppers,” observed Joe Beier, EVP of Consumer Insights at GfK. “As speakers become ever more central to how we run our households and our lives, it seems inevitable that better interfaces and infrastructures will emerge – but we are certainly closer to the start of that journey than the finish.”