A new study reveals how consumers are using voice search and voice assistants. Consumers that do purchase with their voice mostly buy music and media.

Nearly 30% of consumers who use a voice assistant have used voice search to find information related to a purchase, according to a new study, “Search Without Screens: Exploring The Rise of Smart Assistant and Voice Search.

Online marketing agency NetElixir Inc. surveyed more than 7,400 U.S. consumers, including more than 1,500 who currently use a voice assistant such as Siri, Alexa, Google Home and Cortana. The vendor conducted the survey in February 2018.

Of the 7,481 respondents, 20.5% of consumers regularly use a voice-activated assistant, 17.8% have used a voice-activated assistant but no longer do so, while 60.7% have never used a voice-activated assistant. Numbers are rounded.

“Nevertheless, even one in five consumers actively using voice search is a solid figure for a technology that is still largely being introduced to the public,” says Udayan Bose, CEO at NetElixir.

The majority of voice-assistant users, at 63.6%, use the tool on their smartphone and 35.1% use the tool on a dedicated home assistants, such as Amazon.com Inc.’s (Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000) Alexa software, which is in multiple devices, or the Google Assistant in the Google Home device. Less than 10% of consumers use voice search on each of the following devices: desktop, tablet and smartwatch.


Among the reasons voice assistant users cited for using the tool are:

  • Hands free – 50.4%
  • Faster than typing – 42.8%
  • Answers are read back to me – 14.9%
  • Better results – 4.3%
  • Good conversation – 4.1%

Consumers could pick more than one response.

When it comes to shopping, 28.5% have used voice search to find information related to a purchase.

About 8% of consumers said “purchase an item” is one of their most frequently used voice commands. Here are the other most frequent commands:


The most popular purchases consumers make via voice search/victual assistants are:

  • Entertainment products (music, books, media) – 43.0%
  • Everyday house items (food, tissues) – 26.2%
  • Purchase through voice app (Domino’s, Uber) – 19.0%
  • Apparel (clothing, shoes, accessories) – 15.3%

Consumers could pick more than one response.

This makes sense, Bose says, as entertainment and household items don’t require much guesswork.


“They likely already know exactly which movie or snack they want to buy, and there’s presumably no distinction between each individual item,” Bose says.

However, shoppers lean toward uncomfortable when it comes to completing a purchase using their voice.

The study also found that 25.3% of voice searchers would welcome sponsored or advertised products suggestions while they are researching products.