An Analysis on the Impact on Supply Chains of E-Commerce Through Voice Assistants

Open Access
Mock, Stephanie Mary
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Robert Alexander Novack, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. John C. Spychalski, Honors Advisor
  • amazon
  • google
  • supply chain
  • echo
  • alexa
  • voice
  • assistant
  • siri
  • apple
  • ecosystem
  • sponsorship
  • ecommerce
The use and development of voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant have grown significantly in recent years. These voice assistants can be found in mobile devices, speakers, televisions, and a number of other electronics. These products are being used to conduct e-commerce, which has significantly changed the dynamics between businesses and consumers. With this shift in mind, this thesis will explore how the shift from focusing on a traditionally consumer driven e-commerce environment to focusing on winning the recommendation of an artificially intelligent customer through voice assistants will impact the supply chains for involved companies. The research and data used for this analysis will be collected from reviewing information on current industry leaders in this space and aggregating opinions and predictions from professional services firms with expertise in this area as well. The research has shown that companies who are selling a high volume of products via voice assistants will tend to become more focused on catering to a specific part of the recommendation algorithm, for example lowest cost or highest quality. This means that companies who are selling products on voice assistants will have to make changes to their supply chains to adjust and ultimately win a sale. Another viable option would be to enter into the voice assistant’s ecosystem, which would require partnerships or sponsorships. However, before implementing any of these recommendations, a further analysis should be conducted to understand consumer preferences, supply chain synergies, and company relationships.