Large brands prefer buyers not to ask Alexa.
The growing popularity of voice search assistants would be a threat to the world’s largest manufacturers of household staples. Already grappling with upstart rivals, changing consumer tastes and the emergence of e-commerce, personal care, and packaged food makers have yet to figure out how to make use of the technology.
In contrast to in stores or online, where a number of brands have plenty of exposure, voice-search-assistants as Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa often send people to a single product, usually by an algorithm without input from the vendors. That is not a big problem now, as a voice looking for account for a glimpse of the purchases. But it could be.
In the next five years, half of the web searches will be done through the voice, the estimates Sebastien Szczepaniak, a former Amazon executive who now is the head of e-commerce for Nestlé SA, the world’s largest packaged-foods company. Consultancy firm Capgemini says the voice-assistant, users will spend 18% of their total expenditure using voice assistants in the next three years, an increase of 3% at this time.
This story originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal.