Shoppers are developing quite a taste for interacting with companies using voice assistants, with spending over devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home set to increase six-fold in the next three years.
So suggests a study by Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, which finds that today around a quarter (24%) of respondents would rather use a voice assistant than a website. However, in the next three years, this figure will rise to 40%. Close to a third — 31% to be precise – said 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, but this is expected to increase to 18% in the next three years, reducing share of physical stores (45%) and websites (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, homecare and clothes. Currently, 28% of users have already used a voice assistant to make a payment or send money, but 44% of users have expressed interest in using voice assistants for banking transactions as more smart speakers enable functions such as credit card payments via voice.
Consumers are highly satisfied by the voice assistant experience
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; 81% of users want the voice assistant to understand their diction and accent. The report also revealed that voice assistants are most popular among 33-45 year olds, while close to 1 in 5 (17%) have an annual pre-tax household income of more than $100K.
Voice assistants will yield concrete benefits for retailers and brands
Brands who provide good voice assistant experiences will generate more business and positive word-of-mouth communication. The report found that 37% of voice assistant users would share a positive experience with friends and family, and even 28% of current non-users would want to transact more frequently with a brand following a positive experience. 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.
Mark Taylor, Chief Experience Officer, Digital Customer Experience practice, at Capgemini explains: “Voice assistants will completely revolutionize how brands and consumers interact with each other. What makes voice assistants so exciting is that they are woven into the fabric of our lives, offering a simplicity and richness of interaction that consumers have never experienced before. 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.”
The findings back up a study of almost 3000 UK consumers, conducted by post-purchase experts Narvar in association with YouGov, late last year which found that the adoption of voice technology among consumers is at a tipping point, with use cases expanding well beyond traffic, weather, and entertainment. Most notably, consumers were asked about their future intentions to purchase online; 6% of respondents said that they expect to use a voice-controlled device to shop online within 2018. That’s triple the figure in 2017.
Currently some 2% of all UK consumers are already using voice-controlled devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo for online shopping – that’s 20% of all device owners in the UK, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel research, or equivalent to 9.96% of total UK households based on latest ONS figures.