Study Finds Consumers Embraced Voice Shopping Last Year

Voice shopping over smart devices rose to 45.2 million in 2021, a 120 percent increase in three years, reflecting a 30 percent compound annual growth rate according to Voicebot Research, which tracks use of voice-assisted devices. The analytics firm found that 20.5 million U.S. adults had used voice to shop for a product at least once in 2018. That figure rose to 45.2 million in 2021. However, the firm found that general-use smartphone voice assistants — such as those from Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa) and Google — declined 2.8 percent among U.S. adults in 2021.

“The use of voice assistants on smartphones is still a very large market consisting of more than 140 million U.S. adults with nearly 80 million MAUs. However, that is down from an estimated 144 million total users and over 90 million MAUs a year ago,” according to Voicebot’s “Smartphone Voice Assistant Consumer Adoption Report 2022.”

The stagnation is due in part to “no new breakout solutions since 2020. Consumers appear to have decided what they like to use their general purpose voice assistants for and are sticking with those at a comparable rate. One exception is streaming music which saw a boost in general purpose voice assistant use over the past year,” Bret Kinsella, founder of Voicebot Research and, notes in his executive summary.

As to whether voice shopping is the killer app for voice, Kinsella finds “the consumer data is mixed. Most of the core metrics are favorable. The U.S. adult population that has used voice shopping at least once rose to 17.5 percent in 2021, up from just 8.2 percent in 2018.”

The “Voice Shopping Consumer Adoption Report 2021” notes that as a whole, consumers are not fully on board yet with the practice. For example, 63 percent of consumers said they are “unlikely” or “very unlikely” to use voice commerce. The 2021 growth and interest sprang entirely from formerly “undecided” consumers.

“Voice shopping is growing but future growth will hinge on greater awareness and a shift in the perceived benefit of speaking instead of tapping or clicking,” Kinsella notes. “There will also need to be more supply of voice shopping experiences. Few of these actually exist today.”

Last summer, Variety Intelligence Platform predicted voice commerce would hit $80 billion by 2023, “its uses advancing rapidly as it becomes the desired entryway for consuming video content.”

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