Within three years, about 40% of consumers will use a voice assistant as an alternative to a mobile app or website, according to the results of the Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute Conversational Commerce Survey, which questioned more than 5,000 consumers in the U.S. U.K., France and Germany.
The survey also found that 81% of users of voice assistants have used them via smartphones, while about 32% have used them on a smart speaker, such as the Amazon Echo, and 21% have done so on a screen-based device like Echo Show or Fire TV.
Meanwhile, 35% of voice assistant users admit to having purchased products such as clothes through their voice assistants, and said they may spend as much as 500% more through voice assistants in the coming users as they do now, according to the Capgemini study
The survey results are being reported just as voice assistant announcements, mostly pertaining to Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant, stole the show at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month. The survey results indirectly suggest that these companies are not wrong to be putting huge amounts of resources and energy into their voice assistants, as the whole sector could be a bigger juggernaut than anyone thought. Among other survey findings, 31% of respondents said that within three years they likely will prefer using a voice assistant to visiting a physical shop.
At this point, the rise of voice assistants seems pretty undeniable, and the growth of voice as a search, navigation and shopping interface has demanded the attention of many consumer brands and retailers. We still probably haven’t seen the last of new assistants being unveiled either. While Amazon may control the market at this stage, Google is seen as a rising force, and there could be some market shake-ups yet to come.
One of those could have to do with the effect voice assistant usage has on other consumer interfaces to the internet. This survey suggests voice assistants could be used for web interactions in the place of an app or website, though there are certainly many companies who probably view voice as a tool that actually can improve the browsing experience in an app or on a website. Retailers and brands will need to pay close attention to how this evolution plays out, as it could influence how and where they will want to spend the bulk of their development dollars.
Making the right choices about investing in voice assistants could mean a handsome payoff. The survey suggested that 37% of voice assistant users would share a positive experience with friends and family, the kind of word-of-mouth value that retailers and brands strive for regardless of the consumer interaction point used.