Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage
Always listening.
NO SALE

Almost no Alexa owners have bought anything with their voice

By Dave Gershgorn

Alexa might not be the sales robot that Amazon believed it could be.

A report today (Aug. 6) from The Information claims the company has sold about 50 million Alexa smart speakers, which first went on sale in 2014. However, only 2% of Alexa speakers have been used to make a purchase from Amazon in 2018, The Information reported. And beyond that, 90% of the people who try to make a purchase through Alexa don’t try again. An Amazon spokesperson told Quartz they disagreed with the numbers, but did not provide any other figures.

That’s not incredibly surprising. A recent report by the consultancy firm Activate surveyed smart-speaker owners, a category which Amazon dominates, and shopping wasn’t even on the list of things users say they do with their devices. However, 38% of users check the weather.

But Echo devices still appear to be a strong signifier of Amazon’s most frequent customers. A 2017 survey found that US Alexa owners spend $1,700 per year shopping on Amazon, whereas Prime subscription members typically spend $1,300 per year. For non-Prime US Amazon customers, that number is about $1,000.