I have been living at home with a voice assistant for just over a month and I now totally understand why people like Mark Cuban believe it is a game-changing technology. All it takes is a lousy song on the radio and I say “Alexa, play Radio XYZ”. I don’t have Alexa in my car and I miss this ability.

Numbers from the US shared in Shopify’s 10 things to watch in e-commerce, written by Nick Winkler, show that more than a quarter of consumers made a purchase on a smart speaker – and 3.9 per cent say they do so daily.

When Mustafa Kiamil told me three years ago that voice was the future, I did not know whether to believe him or not. But the JJ Foodservice founder has a track record of moving ahead of the market and I think he has called it right.

What made me sit up was looking at the Alexa “skill” pages on the Amazon website, where you can see the retail giant is inviting developers to make every product and service available to people talking to their voice assistants.

Winkler’s article is a must-read for any small business owner. Footfall used to be people walking past your stall. Now you compete with people who can listen in to people opening their fridges and not seeing what they are seeking on the cold drinks shelf.

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