Shockingly, people don’t want to buy things through Alexa.

8th August 2018

I’ll admit. I love smart speakers and their ilk. My house is littered with Google Home’s and their mini friends. They control my TV, my lights, and my alarm in the morning.

But even I, an early adopter and enthusiast, won’t buy anything through them. And it’s not because I don’t trust the platform, its because of the number of times it can’t understand me.

“Hey Google, play Project Runway on Living room TV”

Me, most nights.

For some reason, that is the hardest thing for me to say, and Google knows it. But the worst thing that can happen in my scenario is Google just doesn’t give my nightly fix of Heidi Klum. When buying something though, there’s not only a financial penalty, but you now have to cancel the order.

Techcrunch has reported that out of the 50 million Alexa users, only a fraction have used their Alexa to purchase something.

And honestly, I’m not surprised. 

“Alexa, buy digestives”

Some Alexa user… maybe

But what kind of digestives? McVitties? Chocolate covered? And what packet size? And what about those ones on Amazon which are £30 a packet because they’re dusted with gold? 

Ordering through Alexa reminds me of a scene in Mr Selfridge. He’s gone into a shop to buy some gloves, but all the products are hidden away behind counters and in drawers. Its an incredibly frustrating shopping process. You know you want Oreos (or gloves) but not which ones. And the variety of items available is huge! Even washing powder comes in an array of sizes, types, smells, and brands. 

Ordering through Alexa is like Mr Selfridge asking Agnes for gloves. You’ve got no idea what’s behind the counter, or if what you’re being shown is what you need.

Mr Selfridge and the hunt for gloves