Nearly three quarters (72%) of smartphone owners use digital assistants, according to a new report from Microsoft. The results are based on two surveys – one from mid-2018 including an international sample and a 2019 follow-up involving 5,000 US consumers. The study also revealed that 35% of the surveyed population had used "voice search" via a smart speaker.
In the context of this discussion on smart speakers, Microsoft introduces the following hierarchy in the use of PDAs:
In Search of a Fact – 68 Request Directions – 65% Search for a Business – 47% Search for a product or service – 44% Create a List – 39% Compare Products or Services – 31% Add Items to Cart – 26% Make a Purchase – 25% Contact customer service or support – 21% Percentage of comments provided on a product / service – 19%
Some of the answers on this list (for example, comparison of products or services) suggest that respondents have spoken widely about the use of wizards – not just about smart speakers. Indeed, the absence of answers such as "check the weather" or "play music" (common answers in other surveys of intelligent speakers) also suggests it.
The study found that 80% were "satisfied" with their digital assistant experiences (most often on smart speakers), while 14% were "neutral" and only 6 % dissatisfied.
A 22% jump in ownership. In terms of ownership of smart speakers, the 2018 survey found that 23% of respondents had one. That number has risen to 45% this year. Assuming it's a US-based population, this would mean that about 112 million Americans today own at least one speakerphone smart, with an additional 26% saying that they will buy one this year.
A very interesting conclusion relates to the intention of buying the mark. Amazon Echo grew compared to 2018 and Google Home lost its share of purchase intent. The number of people who say they want to buy a Google Home speaker has risen from 58% in 2018 to 17% this year. It's possible that 58% bought Google Home devices, which is why it's down. The decline is remarkable, however.
The Google Home Mini system did not experience the same decline in purchase intent. Finally, 26% of the audience said they want to buy an alternative brand, including Sonos and Apple HomePod, although the report does not specify.
Privacy issues related to PDAs. A substantial minority (41%) of respondents said they had "concerns" about PDAs – again, probably smart speakers. When asked to clarify their point of view, the most common answer was "that my personal information is not secure" (52%), followed by "that he's listening to and listening to / or "register" (41%), then "I do not want my personal information". information or data used "(36%). These fears are not totally unfounded, given the recent revelations that Amazon employees were listening to Alexa recordings, which justified improving voice recognition and comprehension.
The surveys also mentioned purchases made with a digital assistant or a smart speaker. Just over 41% of those surveyed said they made a purchase through one or both channels (6.5% said they did not like it). The remaining 59% had not made a purchase, with 27% saying they were interested in making future purchases using assistants. More than half (54%) of those surveyed said they believe digital assistants would help them shop at retail stores five years from now.
Why we should care. Consumers and retailers expect smart speakers (and smartphone assistants) to become an important channel of purchase over the next few years. The activities detailed in the list above indicate that some search behaviors will be transferred to the voice channels over time.
Marketers have clear implications related to voice optimization and other tactics. For example, if you are a local service company, specific actions need to be performed to appear in Google Home local listings. It is also the responsibility of marketers to experiment with smart speakers to determine the most effective use cases for their brands and content.
Finally, some shopping and shopping experiences can become commonplace with smart speakers. Walmart's up-to-date voice shopping experience represents a potentially successful voice commerce model, involving the creation and replenishment of lists.
About the Author
Greg Sterling is a collaborative editor at Search Engine Land. He researches and writes on the links between digital commerce and offline commerce. He is also Vice President of Strategy and Knowledge for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him on Google +.