Marketing experts are predicting that by 2020, half of all internet searches will be voice searches. While there are several other statistics and predications related to voice searches, up until now these have primarily focused on how voice searches are going to impact SEO.

Now there is another question related to voice searches—will these searches extend to grocery shopping? While only about one-third of consumers who own a voice-activated smart device say they use it to shop online, retailers are still fighting for a piece of the pie that is the voice shopping market.

Alexa and Google Home are forging partnerships with some of the major grocery store chains even though research shows that more than 60 percent of consumers say they prefer to grocery shop instore and less than 5 percent prefer to use a smart device instead.

It’s easy to see how this could quickly change, however, given the rise in the use of digital coupons, QR or barcodes to compare prices and in-store item locators. It makes sense, then, that food retailers want to get in at the beginning of what could be a booming trend.

So why would consumers—even the many who say they would prefer to shop instore for groceries—be swayed to use voice-activated smart devices to grocery shop in the near future? According to experts, here are just a few of them:

  • Convenience. Nothing trumps convenience when it comes to online grocery shopping. When consumers really think about how much time it takes to go grocery shopping (and then go back to pick up items they forget during their first trip) it’s hard to argue that their time could be better spent.
  • Savings. Comparison shopping is a breeze when all you have to do is ask Alexa or Siri to find the best price on a particular product.
  • Less impulse buying. That box of brownies can’t tempt you to buy it if you never see it.
  • No crowds. It would be difficult to find anyone who enjoys a crowded grocery store on a Saturday. Jam-packed parking lots also aren’t something people look forward to.
  • Discretion. There are some purchases you would rather the teenager in the checkout line didn’t have to see. Enough said.
    Voice-activated trips to the grocery store may not be a big thing today but like everything else in the marketing world, that could quickly change.

It is for this reason that so many retailers aren’t going to risk being left behind if, and when, this trend takes off.