Only around 2% of Alexa users, mostly Echo device owners, have shopped via their voice so far in 2018, according to a report by The Information.
Of the people who did purchase via Alexa voice shopping, 90% didn’t use it again, says the report.
While some analysts have said voice will bring a new possibility for online shopping, the data from Amazon seems to fall short of the expectation.
About 20% of Alexa users did use voice shopping features to ask questions like “What are my deals?” and “Where is my package?” to track their orders on Amazon.com.
Amazon has sold about 50 million Alexa devices to date, according to The Information’s source.
There are about 45,000 Alexa skills, and most users ask simple questions about the weather, set timers and play music. Smart home companies also promote the smart speaker a control hub for lighting, door locks and thermostats.
“We would definitely think of commerce in voice today as a space to try to build learnings right now, but not a place where we expect to see meaningful purchase volume,” said Patrick Givens, who build Alexa and Google Assistant skills at digital marketing agency Vayner Media, to The Information.
It might be too early to say if Alexa or Google Assistant have helped businesses generate substantial profits. But companies have benefited from some intangible opportunity. For instance, after making voice skills relating to company brands and sales, companies have further increased brand awareness in consumers’ minds.
Amazon still needs time to identify users’ shopping patterns via voice, to take the full advantage of the new commerce opportunity, according to the report by The Information. In the future, the assistant might be able to tell when certain home supplies are running low, and actively suggests users to restock via voice. “That’s an unresolved problem,” according to The Information.