If your business isn’t investing in trying to reach the top of local search results, you should spend some time thinking about how to do it, as voice search queries deliver local results.
Voice assistants are coming of age
Ten years after the arrival of Siri, the voice assistant market is maturing and voice search is beginning to proliferate on several devices. Amazon, Google and Apple products all offer voice assistants and already one in four American adults has a smart speaker. Juniper research Predicts Voice-Based Ad Revenue To Reach $ 19 Billion by 2022, but the best ads are still native search results.
John Stine, the Executive Director Open voice network, explains, âVoice will soon be the primary way for consumers to connect to the digital world and the primary way for digital marketers to connect with real consumersâ¦. It’s time to prepare.
Ubiquity is one of the great discoveries. Over 30% of us now use voice assistants on a daily basis, and about 23% of us use them multiple times a day. Almost everyone is aware that these things exist.
Voice users get used to
The report also provides useful demographics. I was interested to learn that 60% of users aged 18-24 and 36% of those aged 25-34 use Siri more than any other assistant. Alexa is more widely used in older demographics, while Google Assistant is popular as well. (Cortana and Bixby are very minor actors in space.)
This is articulated with a recent Futuresource claim that Apple’s Siri has 25% of the voice assistant market.
Confidentiality remains an issue. It seems, however, that it will be some time before the use of these things in public is considered socially acceptable. Only 27% of US voice assistant users feel comfortable using them in public, which means we rely on them at home, in the car, or on an iPhone while on the go.
Of those who don’t yet use voice assistants, 42% said privacy concerns have kept them from doing so, while 32% just don’t trust assistants.
This isn’t particularly surprising given incidents such as when we found out Apple had humans eavesdropping on certain conversations. (Apple subsequently allowed prevent this.)
The knowledge gap
The confusion over what our voice assistants can do remains. Most people (76% UK) rely on trial and error to find out what they are capable of. In other words, as Apple and others in the space regularly introduce support for different types of search, search users continue to catch up.
There are tasks that people have become accustomed to. The report says most of us use Siri and other assistants to control music (73% of users) and check the weather (80% of users), and confirms that 91% of users have performed voice searches.
This last statistic is the reason every business should work on local search because it is the results most likely to appear in voice search results. It’s also a good deal, given that 41% of those surveyed already use their voice to make purchases.
There are differences in behavior between countries: 21% of US consumers say that âpaying a billâ is their primary job for banking and financial voice assistance, compared to 15% in the UK and 17% in Germany. German users, however, are more open to using the technology to find a doctor or specialist than those in the US or UK.
James Poulter, CEO and Co-Founder of Vixen Labs said: âCurrently there is a lot of white space for [brands] move in; customers are ready and waiting, but to harness this new marketing channel, brands need to optimize, create and integrate their products and services with voice technology.
So what’s coming up?
Some trends are pretty easy to guess: the way we search will change, and people will become more accustomed to using voice to search for certain things than any other form of research. We’ll also see the results become more personalized as voice assistants know more about who is speaking.
Further on, we know that voice assistants will become more empathetic and able to respond to the emotion of a person’s voice, and we will see new form factors such as smart screens and smart glasses emerge. In each case, these will use voice as part of the overall interface and expand the spaces in which the use of voice makes sense.
To get a feel for that future, the best place to look is Apple’s work on accessibility as an area where the company is exploring alternative user interfaces. We are also seeing voice assistants becoming contextually aware and able to provide answers to questions. while being offline.
We are also seeing an increasing use of voice assistants in businesses. Enterprise voice assistant architectures such as VERA 2.0 let business users create their own voice commands to manage their own internal business systems, while applications like shortcuts allow users to expand what their existing voice assistants can do.
JP Morgan & Co and Capital One both use Alexa in customer-centric roles, and we certainly see the voice deployed in call centers around the world, proving that this is a B2C component. in supporting customer-centric roles.
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