“Alexa, what are your deals?” — shopping via voicebot appears to be a sleeper hit, with over 70% of Alexa owners trying it, and almost half doing it regularly

While consumers like it, they have some lingering mistrust about its accuracy
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Monday, July 10, 2017 - 10:01

Amazon’s “Prime Day” is the company’s answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when Amazon offers discounts and puts items on sale that are not typically discounted. It started in 2015, and the coming Prime Day, on July 11, will be its third year of existence. 

This year’s big push is for “voice commerce” — that is, getting consumers to place orders via Alexa. Amazon is offering special deals and larger savings to consumers who place orders via voice command with Alexa.

  • Voice shoppers will have early access to select Prime Day deals a full two hours before the general public beginning July 10 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. PT.
  • More than 100 Alexa exclusive deals are already available.
  • First-time voice-shopping customers who purchase with Alexa between now and Prime Day receive a $10 promo code.
  • Amazon device owners can sign up for Prime via voice command. New members who sign up for Prime by voice  get their first year of membership for just $79, a $20 saving, for a limited time.


Consumers are generally very enthusiastic

This is the second consecutive year Amazon is incentivizing members to try voice-based shopping for Amazon Prime Day — but are consumers ready for it? To find out and get independent data, on July 6, 2017, we surveyed 504 random Alexa-owning consumers, based in the US, and asked them about how they use it.

The key findings:

  • A significant majority (70.6%) of respondents have made a purchase on Amazon through an Alexa voice command at least once.
  • 45.8% of Alexa owners are repeat shoppers (meaning that, of consumers who give Alexa shopping a try once, almost two thirds turn into repeat users).
  • 70.6% of Alexa owners have an Amazon Prime account.
  • 63.1% of Alexa device owners plan to shop on Amazon Prime Day.


A consumer confidence gap

However, consumer confidence in Alexa to order the right product is not nearly as high as people’s propensity to use it: 77% of those who have placed an order via voice command have also gone to the website or app to ensure the correct items were ordered. This implies that they like the convenience and simplicity of e-commerce via voicebot but don’t yet have full confidence in the accuracy of voice and prefer — or, at least, are used to — looking at a screen to confirm the order details, afterward.

Voice shoppers have placed orders across a variety of categories, but the most frequently purchased categories include electronics (48.6%), home and kitchen items (39.3%), and groceries (38.2%).   

Of those Alexa users who have never used voice commands to place an order — the “holdouts” — most believe it is easier to order online or through the app (41.2%). A third (33.8%) are not comfortable making transactions by voice, and 11.5% do not trust Alexa to accurately place their order.

As for the tasks consumers use Alexa for the most, music topped the list (82.9%), followed by setting an alarm (64.7%), setting a timer (59.1%), adding an item to a shopping list (49.2%), and  reading the news (42.7%).

Which of these have you used Alexa for?

Surprisingly, only 70.6% of Alexa device owners are Amazon Prime members, and 63.1% plan to shop on Amazon Prime Day. Of those who plan to shop on Amazon Prime Day, it’s likely a majority will take advantage of the Alexa-exclusive deals. When asked when they think ordering goods through voice command will go mainstream, 30.6% believe it is already, and 60.1% believe it will go mainstream in fewer than five years. More than a third (38.9%) even expect it to go mainstream in under two years.

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