Why Retailers Can’t Ignore How Amazon Echo Is Changing Retail

by MR Magazine Staff

As more and more consumers bring AI-based smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple’s new Homepod into their homes, retailers are scratching their heads trying to figure out how to adapt. It may be early days, but according to the most recent Connected Intelligence report, roughly 65% of people who own an Amazon Echo or Google Home can’t imagine going back to the days before they had a smart speaker, and 42% of that group say the speakers have become “essential” to their lives for everything from playing music to setting timers to getting updates on weather or traffic. Even more rides on these speakers’ ability to establish an ecosystem in consumers’ homes. According to CIRP, “around 60 percent of Amazon Echo and Google Home users also have connected at least one other accessory, such as thermostats, security systems, appliances and lighting.” As these platforms adapt and offer more options, it’s likely that utilization will expand to business applications. Consider how calendar appointments might eventually allow OpenTable to make better restaurant suggestions through Alexa, for example. We are already seeing these devices create disruption in the retail industry. A recent study by First Insight found that over half of respondents (53%) who own a smart speaker use it to research prices on the products they buy, and another 22% said they are likely to research product prices in the future. Read more at Forbes.