Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute 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.
The report, which surveyed more than 5,000 consumers in the US, UK, France and Germany, found that 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 per cent more than they currently do via this mode of interaction.
Voice assistants will revolutionize e-commerce
Consumers are developing a strong preference for interacting with companies via voice assistants. The research found that today around a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents would rather use a voice assistant than a website. However, in the next three years, this figure will rise to 40 per cent. Close to a third – 31 per cent – said they will prefer a voice assistant interaction to visiting a shop or a bank branch, compared to 20 per cent today.
Voice assistant users are currently spending 3 per cent of their total consumer expenditure via voice assistants, but this is expected to increase to 18 per cent in the next three years, reducing share of physical stores (45 per cent) and websites (37 per cent).
While streaming music and seeking information remain the most popular usages for voice assistants today, over a third of respondents (35 per cent) have also used them to buy products such as groceries, homecare and clothes. Currently, 28 per cent of users have already used a voice assistant to make a payment or send money, but 44 per cent 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 per cent being satisfied with their voice assistant. In particular, 52 per cent of consumers cite convenience, the ability to do things hands-free (48 per cent), and automation of routine shopping tasks (41 per cent) 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 per cent 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 per cent) have an annual pre-tax household income of more than US $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 per cent of voice assistant users would share a positive experience with friends and family, and even 28 per cent 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 per cent more with a brand following a good experience with a voice assistant.
Mark Taylor, Chief Experience Officer, Digital Customer Experience practice, at Capgemini said, “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.”