In 2018, the number of internet users in the United States who had made at least one purchase via smart speaker during the year reached 15.9 million. Overall, the number of U.S. smart speaker buyers are projected to grow to almost 26 million in 2021. Due to its convenience, smart assistants and speakers could have a significant impact on e-commerce and consumer behavior as users have reported that a positive aspect of voice shopping was that it was hands-free and allowed them to multitask.
The most popular uses of smart speakers include ordering entertainment, browsing products, and asking for product recommendations. However, adaption continues to be a challenge as many consumers have reported to feeling uncomfortable shopping by voice online, while reported lacking trust in smart speakers’ ability to store and process payment information securely.
Since shopping with smart assistants often requires no screen or user interface, some companies have shifted their marketing strategies to support voice-based commerce. As this new technology gains traction, it has the potential to change the way consumers communicate and identify with brands. During a 2019 survey, 35 percent of SMBs in the United States had reported an increase in their marketing budget to invest in voice marketing. In the same year, a third of U.S. consumers were reported to be interested in using smart speakers for customer service, displaying a willingness to connect with brands via voice and hopefully making brand's voice investments worth their while.