Just 2% of Alexa users tried to buy stuff with voice in 2018 [UPDATE: Amazon Statement]

Chris Burns - Aug 6, 2018, 4:27 pm CST
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Just 2% of Alexa users tried to buy stuff with voice in 2018 [UPDATE: Amazon Statement]

Sources this week suggested that Amazon’s Alexa devices aren’t working exactly the way they’d been expected to work with regard to other Amazon products. In the report, it’s said that in the year 2018, (so far,) just 2% of users of Alexa products tried to purchase a product on Amazon with their voice. Of those that tried to make a purchase with Alexa, a whopping 90% never tried to buy another product with their voice through the service.

Word comes via The Information in a pair of people briefed with the information on the company’s “internal figures” this week. They suggested that the current running total number of Alexa devices in consumer hands is around 50-million. That’s a total of around 50-million Alexa-embedded devices sold by Amazon, not necessarily currently active.

ICYMI: Amazon admits eavesdropping via Alexa (so to speak)

The same people suggested that most people don’t use the service for buying products on Amazon, but for basic questions and fun. Apparently the most popular functions for Alexa are questions like “what’s the weather”, setting a timer, and playing music.

Approximately 20% of Alexa users (far larger than that 2%) have used Alexa for broad shopping assistance commands. The most popular way users interact with Amazon products – products they’ve already purchased or might purchase soon – is with commands like “Where is my stuff” and “What are my deals?”

It would appear that people do not fully trust the Alexa voice service to do important tasks, like exchange money for goods. Or perhaps it’s not so much an issue of trust as it is convenience, and the speed with which one can purchase products on a touchscreen or keyboard device on Amazon. Why learn a new process when the old way works just fine?

Don’t expect this to deter voice assistant advocates from continuing their march up your driveway and into your bedroom. They want you to have devices that can listen, and they want you to have devices that can see. They want purchasing a product to be so very convenient, that you never need set foot in a physical store again.

UPDATE: Amazon sent SlashGear a statement about the report, and unsurprisingly the retailer doesn’t agree with the findings. However, it declined to give us any hard numbers around how many people use Alexa for shopping by voice, or how many people continue to use it after their first try.

” We do not agree with the numbers represented in the article. Millions of customers use Alexa to shop because it is the most convenient way to capture needs in the moment. It’s as simple as saying, “Alexa, order dish detergent” while you are doing the dishes or “Alexa, order copier paper” as you reach for the last one. We want to enable customers to shop in whatever way is easiest for them,” Amazon Spokesperson


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