Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute has today 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 U.S., 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 percent more than they currently do via this mode of interaction.
Voice assistants will revolutionize ecommerce
Consumers are developing a strong preference for interacting with companies via voice assistants. The research found that today around a quarter (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. Close to a third – 31 percent – said they will prefer a voice assistant interaction to visiting a shop or a bank branch, compared to 20 percent today.
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 (45 percent) and websites (37 percent).
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 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 percent being satisfied with their voice assistant. 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 assistants 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 $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 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.
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.”
Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute surveyed over 5,000 consumers in the U.S., the UK, Franceand Germany. The quantitative research was complemented with focus group discussions with consumers from each country, conducted virtually. The survey – as well as the focus group discussions – had a healthy mix of demographics and user/non-user persona.
A copy of the report can be downloaded here.
A global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation, Capgemini is at the forefront of innovation to address the entire breadth of clients’ opportunities in the evolving world of cloud, digital and platforms. Building on its strong 50-year heritage and deep industry-specific expertise, Capgemini enables organizations to realize their business ambitions through an array of services from strategy to operations. Capgemini is driven by the conviction that the business value of technology comes from and through people. It is a multicultural company of 200,000 team members in over 40 countries. The Group reported 2016 global revenues of EUR 12.5 billion.
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About the Digital Transformation Institute
The Digital Transformation Institute is Capgemini’s in-house think-tank on all things digital. The Institute publishes research on the impact of digital technologies on large traditional businesses. The team draws on the worldwide network of Capgemini experts and works closely with academic and technology partners. The Institute has dedicated research centers in India, the United Kingdom and the United States.