Voice AI is Helping Shoppers Make Better Decisions

SFU researchers are exploring the popularity of home voice bots like Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri and discovering what effects AI-influenced shopping is having on the marketplace.

A thought leader on consumer behaviour and advertising, Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business professor Judy Zaichkowsky assembled a research team that included professor Philipp Klaus from the University of Monaco, and together they have published several scholarly articles.

As home voice bots like Amazon's Alexa have become more affordable, online voice command shopping has reached new levels of popularity. When it comes to routine purchases such as ordering shampoo or other household staples, people love the convenience and ease of using voice technology.

Retailers and manufacturers are no longer marketing their wares to human customers but to the trusted bots influencing their decisions.

AI can help a customer narrow down their needs to what’s most important. In fact, consumers are moving towards trusting AI to make better decisions than they can. And they may trust AI to make better recommendations than their human counterparts, since over time the AI voice bot gathers data about the users’ preferences.

“Voice assistants have exploded during the pandemic, and many people are relying on this type of shopping. After working all day, people are tired of looking at screens,” say Zaichkowsky.

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