Insights from Ecommerce Experts
Insights from Ecommerce Experts

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Your customers are talking, but are you listening?


2 minute read

It is no longer a matter of “if” AI-enabled voice technology comes to commerce, but rather a matter of “when” it hits your business.

Jon Stine provides a quick recap of’s quantitative survey of US voice assistant adoption and usage – on both smart speakers and smart phones.

Put your ear to the ground:

  • 66.4 million US adults now own smart speakers.  That’s more than 26 percent of the US adult population, and a year-on-year increase of 40.3 percent.  
  • 70.2 percent of all US smartphone users – that’s roughly 153 million people – used a voice assistant in 2018. It’s estimated that more than 30 million did so for first time.  Year-on-year growth: 23 percent.

Now listen to the growing sound of commerce:

  • In the smart speaker space, monthly shopping usage using AI-voice – in activities ranging from search to transaction – grew from 13.6 percent of owners to 19 percent overall.
    • 28 percent of owners – a nice cohort of some 18.6 million highly digital, higher income Americans – searchedfor products via voice on a monthly basis.
    • 26 percent of owners – a nice cohort of some 17.2 million highly digital, higher income Americans – used voice assistants on a monthly basis to find recipes or ask for cooking instructions.  
    • And, 15 percent of owners – a small, but leading-edge cohort of 10 million Americans – uses voice assistants on a monthly basis to make a purchase

In addition:  more than 30% of smart speaker owners would like to use their speakers to get answers from customer service departments – and another 30% are open to the idea.  That’s a why-can’t-we-get-the-answer-we-want-when-we-want-it cohort of about 40 million US consumers.   

From here, that sounds like a meaningful value opportunity for retailers and CPG’s.   

Jon Stine
Jon Stine
Jon is a value-add-driven technologist who's been born and raised on the business side. As an advisor-consultant, he's less enthused about shiny objects than the sustainable systems and processes that will lift turn and operating margin.
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