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Various analysts and experts are talking about the future of Amazon Echo as a commerce vehicle and Alexa’s potentially disruptive force in retail and for brands. But where do we stand now? New research from comScore [download page] shows that shopping-related activities remain fairly limited, though 1 in 6 households with Smart Speakers are using them to find local businesses.

For the time being, the most common use cases for Smart Speakers among households owning these devices are general questions (60%), weather (57%) and streaming music (54%).

By comparison, the (still-limited) shopping-related functionalities are far less mainstream:

  • Some 16% are using smart speakers to find local businesses;
  • About 1 in 10 (11%) are using them to order products; and
  • Roughly 1 in 12 (8%) are using them to order food and services.

The comScore data shows that Amazon Echo is almost synonymous with Smart Speakers, accounting for 9 in every 10 in households.

On a related note, a new study from Stone Temple Consulting finds that the Google Assistant on Google Home not only answers a greater share of questions verbally than Alexa on the Amazon Echo, but also gets a greater proportion of those answers complete and correct. (The research – which can be found here – consisted of asking digital personal assistants a set of 5,000 different questions.)

Returning to the comScore study, the data shows that 8% of US connected homes have a Smart Speaker – suggesting that Amazon Echo penetration stands at around 7% of US connected homes (using the rounded market share data above).

Smart Speakers are active 23 days per month, on average, and homes with Smart Speakers have an average of 12.8 devices.

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