Commentary

Smartphone Shoppers, Gamers, And Tech Homers

For its annual Devices and Demographics report, Fluent, a people-based marketing platform, polled nearly 2,000 adults and uncovered the latest behaviors on mobile devices, intelligent assistants, and how consumers plan to use these devices in the future. 

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The key findings include:

  • Shopping – 39% of smartphone users have shopped via their device in the last 6 months and 27% of intelligent assistant users have
  • Mobile Gaming – 32% of smartphone owners say they mostly use their phones for games, and 49% have played a game on their phone in the last month
  • Smart Homes – 36% of consumers 18-24 are considering purchasing a smart TV in the future, and 27% are considering purchasing smart lights

From smartphones to home pods, intelligent assistants are becoming widely used with far-ranging implications for the customer experience of the future, says the report. As prices decrease and functionality increases, consumers are finding more reasons to adopt these devices. Sold at less than $40, Amazon Echo dots and Google Home minis made a perfect gift for the 2017 holiday season. As a result, 20% of American households are now owners of a smart home gadget. Consumers utilize intelligent assistants for a wide variety of tasks, from playing music and placing calls to scheduling flights and making mortgage payments. And, while only 11% of Americans said they made a purchase via intelligent assistant in the past 6 months, the battle for households’ share of wallet will move to the forefront as these devices become more pervasive.

To better understand ownership and usage patterns for intelligent assistants, Fluent surveyed over 1,700 American consumers and asked them about the ways they use intelligent assistants on their smartphones and smart home devices.

Amazon made a sound investment by heavily promoting Alexa, says the report. Amazon Echo is currently the most popular smart home device (owned by 41% of those who have a smart home device, followed by Google Home at 25%).

Which smart home device do you have in your household?

(Among total US who have a smart home device

Amazon Echo

41%

Google Home

25%

Samsung SmartThings

20%

Other

34%

Source: Fluent, March 2018

What do American consumers use smart home devices for? Checking the weather and asking questions! Playing music is also a popular use for smart home pods since many of them were initially built as high-quality speakers.

What do you use your smart home device for? (Among those who have a smart home device)

Total US

Check weather

44%

Ask questions

41%

Playing audio

33%

Make calls

28%

Shopping

25%

Play games

23%

Cooking help: recipes, timers, etc.

22%

Check/update calendar

22%

Check traffic

17%

Control TV

16%

Plan trips (find flights, hotels)

13%

Control house utilities (thermostat, lights, locks, kitchen)

13%

Source: Fluent, March 2018

As intelligent assistants become widespread, consumers will use them for a variety of functions, including shopping. More than a quarter of smart home owners have made a purchase through their device, indicating that shopping through intelligent assistants has the potential to shake up the online marketplace.

Intelligent assistants not only simplify the purchase process but also help to channel purchases via specific platforms. The type of smart home gadget that comes into a person’s house will have implications for the products they will buy. For example, an Amazon Echo owner can order an item from their Amazon wish list with just a couple of words, solidifying Amazon’s e-commerce lead. Men are more likely to take advantage of these shopping conveniences than women.

Have you ever made a purchase through your smart home device? (Among those who have a smart home device)

Total US

Female

Male

Percent who say: Yes

27%

19%

36%

Source: Fluent, March 2018

For some tasks, such as asking for information, consumers prefer the intelligent assistant on their smartphone rather than the smart home device. Cross-device continuity is expected, which is why Amazon designed Alexa to be compatible with both iPhones and Androids. Google Now is automatically available for any smartphone that uses any Google apps, putting Google at an advantage compared to Siri, which is confined to Apple devices.

When at home, are you more likely to ask your smartphone assistant (eg. Siri) or smart home device for information? (Among those who have a smart home device)

Total US

Equally likely

27%

Smart home device

25%

Smartphone

47%

Source: Fluent, March 2018

Every smartphone owner has a built-in intelligent assistant, and an increasing number of people take advantage of it. 45% of smartphone owners use it at least sometimes and more than 1 in 5 say they use their smartphone assistant “all the time”.

How often do you use the Intelligent Assistant on your smartphone (Siri, Google Assistant, etc.)? (Among those who have a smartphone)

Total US

Use Intelligent Assistant on your smartphone at least sometimes

45%

All the time

21%

Sometimes

24%

Rarely

19%

Never

23%

Don't know what that is

13%

Source: Fluent, March 2018

 

Consumers are most likely to use an intelligent assistant on their smartphone to make calls, check the weather, and ask questions. Older consumers (35+) are especially likely to use intelligent assistant on their smartphone for the latter two purposes. Shopping is the fourth most used functionality, a clear signal of consumer expectations.

Which of the following have you used your smartphone assistant for in the past 6 months?(Among those who use AI on smartphone)

Total US

18-34

35+

Make calls

63%

63%

63%

Check weather

61%

53%

64%

Ask questions

54%

47%

57%

Shopping

39%

38%

40%

Play games

38%

43%

37%

Check/update calendar

34%

31%

35%

Cooking help: recipes, timers, etc.

30%

28%

31%

Check traffic

27%

24%

28%

Plan trips (find flights, hotels)

19%

16%

20%

Use a translate function

14%

15%

14%

Control smart house utilities (thermostat, lights, locks, kitchen)

6%

9%

6%

Other

17%

21%

15%

Source: Fluent, March 2018

As smart home devices become ubiquitous and consumers become comfortable with utilizing intelligent assistants for an ever-increasing number of tasks, businesses will find it necessary to develop partnerships with leaders in the space (such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Now,) or risk being left out in the cold, concludes the report.

For additional information from Forbes, please visit here.

 

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