Amazon Prime Day signalled a huge change in how Americans shop

Americans are on the cusp of a radical shift in how they shop.

On Tuesday, the Echo Dot, Amazon’s voice-controlled speaker that’s powered by artificial intelligence, took the crown as the best-selling item on Amazon’s Prime Day.

And on Wednesday, communication firm Walker Sands published a report that revealed just how much the Echo and other voice-controlled devices could revolutionising shopping.

According to Walker Sand’s 2017 Future of Retail Study, 19% of American shoppers have made a purchase using their voice through an Amazon Echo or other voice-controlled device in the past year.

Right now, most people who own an Echo don’t use it for shopping. The device’s most common uses include setting timers, playing music, and reading the news. However, that may be changing — 33% of shoppers said they planned to shop using an Echo or a similar device in the next year, on top of the 19% who have already done so.

And, as seen by Prime Day purchases, people are increasingly intrigued by the voice-controlled AI devices. While roughly a quarter of shoppers own a voice-controlled device, an additional 20% said in late March — when the Walker Sands survey was conducted — that they planned to purchase one in the next year.