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Consumer spending via voice assistant to increase six-fold in three years: Report

Consumer spending via voice assistant to increase six-fold in three years: Report
Voice assistants will become a dominant mode of consumer interaction over the next three years, with shoppers who use the technology willing to spend 500 percent more than they currently do, based on a survey of more than 5,000 consumers in the U.S., the UK, France and Germany.

US-based IT consulting firm Capgemini has released a new report titled, “Conversational Commerce: Why Consumers Are Embracing Voice Assistants in Their Lives,” which highlights how consumers are using voice assistants and the opportunities this creates for businesses to connect with their customers.

Consumers are developing a strong preference for interacting with companies via voice assistants. The research found that today 24 percent of respondents would rather use a voice assistant than a website. However, in the next three years, this figure will rise to 40 percent. Up to 31 percent said they will prefer a voice assistant interaction to visiting a shop or bank.

Voice assistant users are currently spending three percent of their total consumer expenditure via voice assistants, but this is expected to increase to 18 percent in the next three years, reducing share of physical stores and websites.

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

Currently 28 percent of users have already used a voice assistant to make a payment or send money, but 44 percent of users have expressed interest in using voice assistant for banking transactions as more smart speakers enable functions such as credit card payments via voice.

Consumers rave about voice assistant experience

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

The ability for the voice assistant to understand their human user is also critical; 81 percent 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 one in five (17 percent) have an annual pre-tax household income of more than US$100,000.

Voice assistant to yield concrete benefits for businesses

Brands who provide good voice assistant experiences will generate more business and positive word-of-mouth communication. The report found that 37 percent of voice assistant users would share a positive experience with friends and family, and even 28 percent 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 five percent more with a brand following a good experience with a voice assistant.

“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.” Said Mark Taylor, Chief Experience Officer of Digital Customer Experience practice at Capgemini.

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