TECHNOLOGY

Study: Voice assistants on pace to dominate consumer interactions

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

As customers grow more comfortable with voice assistants, they are also ready to increase their spending via conversational commerce.

Voice assistants will become a dominant mode of consumer interaction over the next three years, and shoppers that use voice technology are willing to spend 500% more than they currently do via this mode of interaction, according to “Conversational Commerce: Why Consumers are Embracing Voice Assistants in Their Lives,” a report from Capgemini.

According to the data, around a quarter (24%) of respondents would rather use a voice assistant than a web site. Over the next three years however, this figure will rise to 40%. Close to a third (31%) said at that time, they will prefer a voice assistant interaction to visiting a shop or a bank branch, compared to 20% today.

Voice assistant users are currently spending 3% of their total consumer expenditure via voice assistants. This is expected to increase to 18% in the next three years, reducing share of physical stores (45%) and web sites (37%).

While streaming music and seeking information remain the most popular usages for voice assistants today, over a third of respondents (35%) have also used them to buy products such as groceries, home care and clothes.

Brands who provide good voice assistant experiences are also positioned to generate more business, as 37% of voice assistant users would share a positive experience with friends and family. This equates to serious potential financial gain, as consumers are willing to spend 5% more with a brand following a good experience with a voice assistant, the report said.

Consumers who use voice assistants are very positive about their experience, with 71% being satisfied with their voice assistant. In particular, 52% of consumers cite convenience, the ability to do things hands-free (48%), and automation of routine shopping tasks (41%) as the biggest reasons why they prefer using voice assistants over mobile apps and websites.

The ability for the voice assistant to understand their human user is also critical, as 81% of users want the voice assistant to understand their diction and accent. Voice assistants are also most popular among 33-45 year olds, and close to one-in-five (17%) users have an annual pre-tax household income of more than $100,000, according to the report.

“Voice assistants will completely revolutionize how brands and consumers interact with each other,” said Mark Taylor, chief experience officer, digital customer experience practice, at Capgemini. “Brands that are able to capitalize on the huge consumer appetite around voice assistants will not only build closer relationships with their customers, but create significant growth opportunities for themselves.”

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