New insights from GfK’s FutureBuy report 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.

The research presented by GfK, Germany, shows that only 8% of U.S. shoppers are smart speaker converts, meaning they’ve used the devices for shopping and plan to do so again. But, an equal proportion (8%) have tried smart speaker shopping, but do not plan to again.  

Another 36% of U.S. shoppers seem to be hesitant about the concept, have not shopped with a smart speaker and do not plan to.

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

The study also found high levels of curiosity about some of the newest technologies. While only 5% of respondents experienced shopping with AR or virtual reality (VR) and plan to continue, 25% 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 4-slice toaster’ – are still clunky and unsatisfying for shoppers,” says Joe Beier, executive vice president of consumer insights. “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.”