Consumers have experienced the convenience of shopping with their voices, and they cannot get enough. The share of consumers who own voice-activated devices has doubled since 2017, with more of them using those devices to make purchases, listen to music or simply check the weather forecast than ever before. So, what is it about voice-enabled devices that consumers find most appealing, and how has widespread ownership changed connected commerce? In the third annual How We Will Pay Study, in with collaboration Visa, PYMNTS surveyed more than 5,000 U.S. consumers to learn all the ways in which they use voice-enabled devices in their daily lives. We take a closer look at how consumers are using those devices in the Just Say To Pay brief, in which we explore how owning and using voice-enabled devices increases consumers' appetite for other new, seamless ways to shop and pay.
It appears a lot more Americans are getting acquainted with Alexa. The Echo is the best way to add Alexa to your life, and you can get access to all sorts of Alexa-exclusive deals once you have one. The number of Americans using voice-enabled speakers like Amazon Echo at least once a month more than doubled from last year, says a forecast from research firm eMarketer. More than one-quarter of smartphone owners in the U.S., 60.5 million Americans, will use a virtual assistant like Alexa, Apple's Siri, or Microsoft's Cortana at least once a month. "Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the technology, which is driving engagement," said Martín Utreras, eMarketer's vice president of forecasting, in a statement.
Hotel operators once could rest comfortably knowing that guestrooms boasted technology that was far superior to what guests had in their own homes. In recent years, as technology and guests' digtal demands have evolved, there has been a significant shift. No longer do hotel rooms necessarily have a better television than what guests have in their own living rooms. And often the television is a moot point, because many guests would prefer to watch their own content on one of the numerous devices they bring into the hotel room. The lodging industry is desperately trying to find ways to appeal to the tech-savvy and increasingly digital guests, with technology that will serve a purpose and be nimble enough to evolve with guest expectations.
Amazon is giving its voice-enabled Echo speaker a touch screen and video-calling capabilities as it competes with Google's efforts at bringing "smarts" to the home. The 7-inch screen on the new Echo Show enables the speaker to supplement voice responses with visuals and other information displays, similar to the Echo-like features offered on the Fire tablets and Fire TV streaming devices. That could mean extended weather forecasts, not just current conditions, or music lyrics to go with the song you're listening to. You can also call up cooking tutorials on YouTube, hands-free, while making dinner in the kitchen. You'll also be able to make hands-free video calls with other Echo Show devices or the Alexa app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices.
This photo provided by Amazon shows models of the Amazon Echo Show. Amazon is giving its voice-enabled Echo speaker a touch screen and video-calling capabilities as it competes with Google's efforts at bringing "smarts" to the home. The new device, called Echo Show, goes on sale on June 28, 2017. Amazon says it's also bringing calling and messaging features to its existing Echo and Echo Dot devices and the Alexa app for phones.