Analyst firm Juniper Research estimates nearly 8 billion digital voice assistants will be in use by 2023, increasing at an annual compound growth rate of more than 25%. Voice-based commerce is estimated to reach $80 billion during this time as well.
Apparently, gadget lovers love voice-controlled devices, but for many it’s the simple functions they tend to use. When it comes to virtual assistants, 66% use them to play music or listen to podcasts, 56% use them to set an alarm or reminder, and 48% use them to receive updates.
A Clutch survey of 503 people found that one-fourth of those who own a connected device own a stand-alone, automated virtual assistant such as an Amazon Echo. About 66% own an Amazon Echo, followed by Google Home at 40%, and Apple HomePod at 2%.
Interestingly, about 31% use virtual assistants to control home appliances, while 29% use them to communicate, and 18% use them to shop or compare prices.
Some 54% of virtual assistant owners are male and 46% are female. The study also found that users tend to skew younger in age. About 44% are between the ages of 13 and 34 years old, 29% are between 35 and 54, and 26% are 55 years and older.
The biggest challenge: about 20% saysthey have trouble connecting to networks. Another 35% acknowledge they do not experience any challenges.
Some 44% say access to important information is the primary benefit of using a virtual assistant. About 48% use virtual assistants to get updates about news, weather or sports.
Only 6% of people connect their virtual assistant to another connected device. The top three devices include smart-home appliances at 49%, wearables at 23%, and virtual assistants at 16%.
The Clutch study also found that voice commands affected search results, but the shift in search behavior by users puts the responsibility on the brand or business to adjust their content marketing and search engine optimization strategies.
One significant piece of advice in the report is to optimize the content to respond directly to conversational context that people have when they ask a question.