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Voice-controlled device use for online shopping expected to triple in 2018, research shows

It may not sound like much, but 2% of all UK consumers are already using voice-controlled devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo for online shopping – that’s 20% of

all device owners in the UK, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel research, or equivalent to 9.96% of total UK households based on latest ONS figures.

The survey of almost 3000 UK consumers, conducted by post-purchase experts Narvar in association with YouGov, reveals that adoption of voice technology among consumers is at a tipping point, and use cases are expanding well beyond traffic, weather, and entertainment. Most notably, consumers were asked about their future intentions to purchase online; 6% of respondents said that they expect to use a voice-controlled device to shop online within 2018. That’s triple the figure in 2017.

Amit Sharma, CEO, Narvar, comments: “Adoption of voice-controlled devices has accelerated in 2017, and for retailers and brands this represents an important new channel for personalised customer communications. Although it’s still early days, we have found that UK consumers are already using voice for shopping, and that activity will increase.”

For the purposes of this research, ‘online shopping’ covers the entire process – from researching products and making the purchase to tracking the order and making customer services inquiries.

The figures back up research from the US produced at the end of 2017, which predicted a boom in voice commerce this Christmas. The research showed that 45% of consumers are already using or plan to use digital assistants in the near future. And there’s appetite for it, with 41% saying they would love to be able to shop using voice activation devices.

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