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Voice Shopping: The Next Driving Force for E-Commerce?

Executive Summary

Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have increased the accuracy of speech recognition programs to an almost-human level. Smart devices can now comprehend and follow even complicated instructions such as “tell a joke.” With AI-powered personal assistants, also called intelligent personal assistants (IPAs), consumers can purchase items by just speaking to their devices, without having to log in and check out each time they shop. For instance, Alexa can utilize Amazon’s marketplace and the massive Amazon Prime membership base to complete the transaction on smart devices.

  • In the US, the voice-shopping market is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 211%, from $2 billion in 2018 to $40 billion by 2022, according to OC&C Strategy Consultants.
  • The global market for smart speakers is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 31%, from $4.5 billion in 2017 to $30 billion in 2024, according to Global Market Insights.
  • More than 50% of voice shopping is done through smartphones, based on a survey conducted by Voicebot and Voysis in 2018. As IPAs become more accessible, all smart phone users could be potential voice shoppers.
  • The absence of visuals alters the traditional browsing process to the disadvantage of both shopper and retailer, and the tech firms that control the voice channel therefore disrupt the traditional shopper-retailer relationship.

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