“Alexa, will smart speakers become the most important channel in e-commerce?”

Smart speaker use is becoming more and more popular with, according to Nielsen’s latest study, nearly 1 out of 4 US households already owning a device like an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple Homepod. The fact that 62 percent of smart speaker owners have purchased their devices in the past six months, only confirms that this trend will be continuing and that this tech gadget gets mainstream and widespread adoption.

Nielsen study

But is it only a tech gadget? So far the use of smart speakers has not been a big game changer: the most common use of smart speakers nowadays is listening to music and searching for (real-time) information. However, Amazon recently introduced a new design language for developers enabling them to craft voice skills that adopt visual elements like videos and images. Simply put: it will become easier to combine your voice assistant with visual experiences.

Google also just announced their Google Home Hub, the assistant with screen that also makes it really easy to cast videos. These are good indications for the important channel smart speakers can and will become in the future.

Visually aided skills on smart speakers opens the door for less intrusive advertising but will more importantly enable a richer and better user experience.

Keep that in mind and let us now consider for a minute how important video use is in e-commerce:

  • 60% of consumers would rather watch a product video than read a product description
  • Consumers are between 64-85% more likely to make a purchase after watching a product video
  • 58% of consumers think companies with product videos can be trusted
  • Product pages with videos see 37% (!!) more add-to-cart conversions than pages without videos


Now if you put these trends together you quickly realize that smart speakers combined with visual content offer huge potential in the rapidly growing retail e-commerce world. If you go a step further and combine this with other emerging technologies like augmented reality, it is very probable that the superior customer journeys of tomorrow for ordering products will be centered around these devices.

User reliance on smartphones in the home might shift in the future and voice-enabled devices might become one of the main order channels for e-commerce. For customers, the convenience in using these devices for ordering products (especially when combined with a visual experience) will only increase in the future. For companies, it is a channel that provides brands and companies a new front door to the customer but also a channel that favours the ones that offer the best connected experience.

Alexa and her friends might not be the most important channel in e-commerce just yet but the recent trends indicate that a shift is on its way. It will be key for companies to recognize the potential of smart speakers combined with a superior visual experience early on and act on it. Prepare yourselves to become a winner in the household of tomorrow!

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All trends were gathered and processed in Trendbase. Trendbase is a tool that helps you to gather and categorize industry trends, identify those trends and add context to them and to share that knowledge within your organization to inspire and educate people.

Tuur Devooght

About Tuur Devooght

Tuur combines his strategic creativity, business engineering background and 4 years of international consulting experience on large digitalisation and digital transformation projects to help companies define a future proof business strategy.