Skip to main content

Study: Tasks will dictate digital shopping assistant—and device—usage

The type of shopping assistant that consumers use for home and personal purchases will soon be more important than the actual purchase decision.

Smartphone users will rely on digital assistants in their phones when it comes to aspirational shopping support, while their smart home speakers will be tasked with automating routine household purchases, according to “Beyond Smartphone Shopping — The Rise of the Smart Assistants,” a report form Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab.

According to data, getting help from digital shopping assistants is an emerging need among consumers. For example, 63% of consumers think most people will have a personal shopping advisor in three years, and 47% of smartphone shoppers would like a service that automatically restocks everyday items. However, the device that will take care of these tasks will differ.

Looking ahead, 63% of smartphone shoppers want help with price comparisons – a likely role for a home-based restocking assistant. Meanwhile, 48% want help making shopping decisions easy – a likely role for a personal, or mobile shopping advisor.

“While fascinating in their own right, fast-changing consumer shopping behaviors are important to understand for anyone involved in 5G, smart homes, consumer IoT and artificial intelligence" says Michael Björn, head of research at Ericsson Consumer & IndustryLab. "When consumers start employing AI to automate everyday purchasing, this will create demand for IoT enabled sensors, as well as a need for people to connect appliances in their homes.”

Digitalization of shopping is expected to influence the future of the physical store, as well. A majority of consumers (69%) expect augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR)-technology to bring all the benefits of physical stores directly into smartphone shopping experiences. Despite consumers’ complaints that the device’s screen still limits the overall shopping experience, the most active smartphone shoppers are also the most interested in using AR and VR to bypass the screen's limitations.

Smartphone users are also expecting different pricing and services in-store, as 36% of smartphone shoppers already believe they should pay lower prices in stores than online if they take the trouble to go there. Meanwhile, more than half of respondents believe the effect of fewer people going to stores will increase home deliveries. This indicates a connectivity-driven future for retail both for digital shopping experiences and automation of deliveries, according to the study.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds