Despite voice search technology – such as Amazon Echo and Google Home – being heralded as the next trend to watch in digital advertising, nearly two-thirds (60%) of online consumers who own one have never actually made a purchase via the channel, despite two in five people owning them.

According to a report from cloud-based digital commerce platform Episerver on 4,000 online shoppers, consumers have been slow to adapt to the technology of voice-assisted devices and smartwatches when it comes to shopping online. Meanwhile, while just over a third (35%) owned smartwatches, 66% and 70% never used them to browse or purchase respectively.

Behind all the buzz around the increasing role of smart technologies within the customer buying cycle, the smartphone itself still seems to be reigning supreme, used among 75% of consumers for browsing and well over half (57%) for actively purchasing, and often on a daily basis.

“While consumers are willing to shop across channels now, they’re still warming up to new devices like voice assistants and smartwatches,” said Ed Kennedy, director of digital commerce strategy at Episerver; “It’s up to brands and retailers to set the tone here and nail down the search experience on these devices to ease customers into shopping with new technologies.”

“Technology-rich experiences”

While it may be that voice search devices are yet to reach their full potential, consumers do remain open to solutions aimed at improving their online shopping experience.

From Episerver’s report, 59% of respondents said they would be interested in the idea of chatbots or windows for assistants when browsing for products on the internet, and 57% would be interested in smart mirrors when shopping in-store. Meanwhile, a further 40% said they would be interested in augmented reality during their online shopping experience.

“Today’s shoppers are interested in technology-rich experiences, but only if it’s done right,” commented Joey Moore, director product manager at Episerver.

“Rather than introducing novel technology for the sake of doing so, brands should implement tools like smart mirrors in-store and facial recognition sign-in online to make shopping easier, fast, more convenient and engaging.”