Surprise, no one buys things via Alexa

Of about 50 million Alexa users, only about 100,000 reportedly bought something via voice interface more than once. All of these things are obviously things that phones do as well, but there's something to be said for having a stationary hub for the more domestic tasks. Part of the expectation of seeding the home with these devices has been that users would also make purchases using them: "Alexa, order more Oreos," or "Alexa, buy a pair of Bose noise-cancelling headphones." This always seemed rather odd, as people tend to want to look at items before buying them, to check reviews, to shop around for better prices and so on. Who would just buy something by telling their Echo that they want to? As a hub for increasingly common smart home devices, Alexa is a great choice and a common one. Although groceries and impulse purchases may not be something people do via voice, an Echo is a great seller of subscriptions like Spotify and Audible, not to mention future possibilities from queries like "Alexa, call me a plumber." And of course there's the whole behind-the-scenes industry of ads, promotions and clever use of voice data. The other stat The Information mentions is that a million people have tried buying stuff but only 100,000 continued. Read more