NewYork, 14.08.2019

In GfK report, consumers embrace subscription services, AR as shopping tools

Smart speakers generate less enthusiasm among shoppers in new FutureBuy® research

Today’s shoppers have a growing digital toolkit for researching and buying – and they are developing clear favorites among the options at their disposal. New insights from GfK’s FutureBuy® show that augmented reality (AR) and subscription services are among the offerings creating enthusiasm among shoppers. Smart speakers, on the other hand, seem to be lagging when it comes to their perceived value as shopping tools.

Click here to download a FutureBuy® 2019 highlights report.

The just-released research shows that only 8% of US shoppers are smart speaker converts – have used the devices for shopping and plan to do so again. (See Table 1.)  But an equal proportion (8%) say they have tried smart speaker shopping and do not plan to again.

Another 36% of US shoppers seem to be hesitating about the concept, reporting they have not shopped with a smart speaker and do not plan to.

By contrast, 14% of shoppers have used subscription services (such as Stitch Fix) and plan to continue doing so; that is nearly double the smart speaker rate. Another 21% of shoppers report that they are likely or highly likely to try one of the services in the next year.

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The study also found high levels of curiosity about some of the newest technologies. While only 5% of respondents said they have experienced shopping with augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) and plan to continue, a remarkable 25% report that they are likely to try it in the next year – the highest level of enthusiasm recorded in the survey.

“Beyond basic replenishment, more open ended shopping tasks – like ‘I want to buy a four-slice toaster’ – are still clunky and unsatisfying for shoppers,” observed Joe Beier, EVP of Consumer Insights at GfK. “As speakers become ever more central to how we run our households and our lives, it seems inevitable that better interfaces and infrastructures will emerge – but we are certainly closer to the start of that journey than the finish.”  

Table 1. Attitudes toward and experiences with emerging shopping techniques (Past 6 months)


Shopping via smart speaker

Shopping via subscription service

Shopping via AR/VR

% aware of this way of shopping




% have shopped this way and will continue to do so




% “somewhat/highly likely” to shop this way in next year (but have not done yet)




% have not done and will not do




Base: All US shoppers

FutureBuy® is the definitive resource for capturing the hearts and minds of today’s empowered shoppers. With an unmatched category and geographic footprint, and a highly intuitive online dashboard, FutureBuy gives brands and retailers (on- and offline) the insights they need to:

  • Get a comprehensive view of shopper attitudes and behaviors across 18 categories and 27 countries
  • Choose the right geographies and categories for new products and services
  • Focus resources against the shopper touchpoints that matter most
  • Track emerging trends and understand where tomorrow's shoppers are heading
  • Make smarter decisions about custom shopper studies and data integration

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