Walker Sands release a new “Future of Retail” report that says that 19 percent of consumers have made a purchase using a voice-controlled deice in the past 12 months.  But when you look at the millennial demographic, that number goes way up.  37 percent report that “they ‘always’ or ‘often’ shop online via voice-controlled devices.”  Among this group, 43 percent made a purchase using voice in the past year.

The report uses data base on a recent US consumer survey over a little over 1,600 adults.Over 80 percent of the overall survey population said that they hadn’t made a voice-driven purchase and 48 percent said they weren’t likely to do so.

Source: Walker Sands Future of Retail report (July 2017)

The top four reasons why people were hesitant to buy on voice-first devices or devices without a screen were due to security, privacy, “lack of visuals” and uncertainty about price/payment.  Because the Amazon Echo Show (which has a screen) might potentially address these issues, although the survey was conducted before the Show was shipped.

When the survey asked about voice-device ownership, 16 percent said they owned an Echo, 6 percent owned a Google Home, and 2 percent “had more than one” (this doesn’t necessarily mean both).  20 percent said that they planned to purchase one of these devices int he coming year.

Source: Walker Sands Future of Retail report (July 2017)

These numbers shouldn’t be extrapolated to the entire population of the US, because it would mean that there are over 50 million owners of these smart speaker/virtual assistants in the US today.  But in reality, the numbers are closer to 20 million-ish, according to a variety of third-party estimates.

Also, it as announced by Kayak the ability to book a room through Alexa.

Once users invoke the Kayak skill on Alexa devices, it walks you through a dialog wizard about locations, dates, ratings and pricing.  It is ale to discuss one hotel at a time, and it is best right now for booking specific hotels, rather than choosing a hotel from among multiple ones.  Users also ahve to link their Kayak accounts with a credit card to finalize the transaction.

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