Alexa is useful for setting timers, answering questions, and controlling your smart home. But do you ever use it to buy things from Amazon?
From Amazon’s perspective, it makes sense to include a way to buy things through an Echo. Anything to make it easier for customers to buy stuff, right? From a user perspective, though, buying stuff with your voice is pretty awful. It takes time to listen to each search result and you don’t have pictures to see what you’re buying. It’s a little easier on the Echo Show as you can see above, but that’s an expensive Echo that isn’t as useful as it could be.
It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that almost no one uses Alexa to go shopping. According to a report from The Information, only around 2% of people who with an Echo use it to buy stuff:
The Information has learned that only about 2% of the people with devices that use Amazon’s Alexa intelligent assistant—mostly Amazon’s own Echo line of speakers—have made a purchase with their voices so far in 2018, according to two people briefed on the company’s internal figures. Amazon has sold about 50 million Alexa devices, the people said.
Of the people who did buy something using Alexa voice shopping, about 90% didn’t try it again, one of the people said. A larger number, 20%, have engaged more broadly with Alexa voice shopping by using commands like “What are my deals?” and “Where is my stuff?” to track orders that were likely made on other devices.
That’s a pretty low rate for a feature that Amazon likely intended customers to use on a regular basis. Pushing exclusive deals that you can only get through Alexa helps, but in general it seems like most Echo users would rather use it for anything except shopping.
Still, we’re curious. Do you ever use yours to shop? And if not, why not?