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Oz Smart Speaker Growth Up 200%, Beats US & UK

Australian smart speaker ownership has soared 200% in less than four months, with first year sales reportedly outpacing both the US and UK.

According to VERSA’s Australian Voice Report1.35 million Australians own a home smart speaker, with one in three considering buying one in the next twelve months.

Concerning prospective buyers, 25% are buying for themselves, with 12% gift givers.

Christmas and holiday shopping is forecast to catapult sales, with global trends claiming ~50% of annual smart speaker sales occur during this time.

Demographically, ownership is largely driven by millennials, generation Z, young families and city residents.

On a brand basis, Google is leading local smart speaker ownership [12% of homes, 7% of workplaces] followed by Amazon [2% of homes, 3% of workplaces].

Commentators claim Google’s first move advantage may slowly diminish as smart speaker competition continues to intensify.

Research forecasts 4 million Australians to use their smart speaker for shopping in 2019, with ‘voice commerce’ representing a major opportunity for retailers and brands.

vCommerce is forecast to hit $40 billion in the US and UK by 2020, with Australia likely to follow a similar upwards trend.

To date, ‘low involvement’ purchases (e.g. movie tickets and food delivery) have been the most popular buys via a smart voice assistant.

Categories such as clothing, technology and accommodation are also gaining traction.

Research claims 64% of smart speaker owners engage daily, with uses including; music playback (61%), checking the weather (60%), listening to the news (49%), and controlling other smart home devices (37%) e.g. lights.

VERSA Managing Director, Kath Blackham, claims Australia has now joined the ‘Age of Ask’:

“Global adoption rates have exceeded all forecasts, including growth of the US market by fifteen-fold since 2016 alone”

“This, combined with sales trends in Australia, indicates that we are likely to experience a massive boom in the coming years”

“Voice can no longer be written off as a fad, and if brands miss this moment in terms of shifting how they produce and think about their online content, they risk being missed within the nation’s fastest growing direct-to-consumer channel.”

Download the Australian Voice Report here.