Voice Assistance is becoming the Norm


The way people are searching is changing and a study from Microsoft has found that people using their voice through digital assistants is becoming the norm.

Written By

Thomas Coughlan

Posted On

26 Apr 2019

A recent study from Microsoft has found that voice assistance is becoming the norm. The 2019 Voice report has analysed the adoption of voice technology and voice assistants.

Search is Changing

As we have previously mentioned, the way people search is changing. According to EY, 22% of UK households currently own a voice assistant which has doubled from 11% in 2011.

Search is no longer a place just to find answers and is becoming a state of action. Digital assistants such as Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri are now able to schedule appointments, control your thermostat and order you a takeaway. They are also now not limited to just mobile devices, with people switching between their phone, smart speaker, TV and also more recently their smart speaker screens.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said;

“Your brand needs to have its own agents that can talk directly to customers and to converse across multiple digital assistants.”

How are people engaging with voice

According to the survey, voice search through a digital assistant is the most popular form of engagement with 72%. Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant were the joint most popular digital assistants with 36%. Over half (57%) of the respondents engage with their digital assistant by speaking their requests or queries out loud whilst only 9% type them.

Currently, the most popular tasks that people are using digital assistants for are:

  • Searching for a quick fact – 68%
  • Asking for directions – 65%
  • Searching for a product/service – 52%
  • Searching for a business – 47%
  • Researching for a product/service – 44%

Trust is key

As voice-enabled technology is still in the early stage of adoption, it is important that brands build trust with consumers. As with all new technology, consumers can be influenced easily when problems occur such as misunderstood commands and unintentional purchases. Although 59% of respondents do not have any concerns around using digital assistants, there are still 41% who do.

The concerns that people are most worried about with digital assistants are:

  • Personal information or data is not secure – 52%
  • The device is actively listening and/or recording – 41%
  • They don’t want personal information to be used – 36%

The rise of VCommerce

VCommerce has slim-lined the ordering process and made it purchasing easier. You can now ask Alexa to order you a new book or in the US, you can even ask your Google Assistant to order you food from a restaurant for delivery or pick-up. In early 2018, 54% of respondents believed that digital assistants would help them make a purchase within the next 5 years. A year later, 40% have already tried to make a purchase using their voice.

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