Are digital voice assistants 2019’s newest marketing tools?

Published January 22, 2019

It’s getting harder and harder to avoid smart speakers. You can’t go too far before hearing ‘Siri’, ‘Hey, Google’ or ‘Alexa’ echoing through the walls. Amazon shipped 6.3 million Echo devices in the third quarter of 2018 alone, with Google Assistant falling just behind with 5.9 million units. They undeniably make life easier, with people being able to change the temperature of their homes with just their voice.

Amazon Echo dominates the smart speaker market with Alexa being one of the top Christmas presents of 2018, extending its reach throughout the world. On Christmas day, a glitch in the technology meant that ‘Alexa, are you okay?’ was the question uttered by users across Europe as the whole system crashed!

Alexa’s presence at CES 19 was as substantial as ever. More and more devices that are compliant with Amazon Echo were announced at the event, including a toilet – as of course you need someone to talk to in the bathroom.

In terms of their popularity, the statistics show no sign of decline:

  • 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information within the last year
  • 46% of voice search users look for a local business daily
  • 27% visit the website of a local business after conducting a voice search
  • 76% of smart home speaker users conduct local searches at least once a week—with
  • 53% performing daily searches

According to Amazon, voice searches via virtual assistants like Alexa now exceed 50 billion a month, and by 2020 that’s expected to reach more than 200 billion a month.

So, as their reach increases, the question is: how can businesses utilise digital voice assistants into their marketing strategies?

Virtual assistants are changing the way we live, so naturally, it makes sense for brands to incorporate them into their strategies for engaging with consumers. For marketers, predicting consumers’ needs is the key to seeing results, and it is thought that digital assistant technology is the next step needed to get there. They are now moving past just reactive responses and are able to actually recommend users items based on the context.

It’s difficult to get your head round, but say you need new trainers, your digital assistant could even recommend your perfect pair based on your workout patterns, product ratings and customer reviews. It can even send you a purchase reminder next time you’re at the shops due to enabled location services!

A 2018 report found that 7% of digital voice assistant owners have used them to actually purchase items online, and 20% of buyers have interacted with their assistants to follow up on their order status. Though a small percentage, the number of users making purchases via digital voice assistants can only rise as technological advancements develop and streamline the sometimes complicated services they currently offer.

Voice search is still in its early days, but it is clear just how powerful the impact will be on brands and e-commerce in the future.

If getting to grips with this new and upcoming marketing channel in 2019 is one of your business’s goals, get in touch to see how we can support your team by calling us on 01483 746650 or sending us an email hello@somethingbig.co.uk

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