We’re months away from 2020—the year that consumer adoption of voice search and smart speakers will hit a tipping point. This change in behavior is also changing the way brands are thinking about interacting with their customers.

Oh Snap, What’s the Story on Social?

Here are the common questions we’re hearing brands have about voice technology and smart speakers, and their answers.

Is smart speaker usage still on the rise?

More and more people are purchasing smart speakers. As of January 2019, 23 percent of the U.S. population has a smart speaker in their home, according to eMarketer.

The verdict: Yes, and no. More and more consumers are purchasing devices. However, with this growth, daily usage is down.

As consumer adoption continues to rise, the daily usage of smart speakers by users has leveled off. In January 2018, 63 percent of smart speaker owners reported using their device daily. As the number of owners has grown, daily usage has dropped to just under 50 percent of owners reporting daily usage.

Are smart speakers changing user behavior?

Early adopters have been using voice technology since 2014. The most common tasks have been simple: getting weather reports, playing music, or setting timers.

As brands are more successful at delivering relevant experiences, customers are integrating their smart speakers into their daily lives.

What Activities Are US Smart Speaker Users Conducting on Their Smart Speakers? eMarketer March 2019

The verdict: Yes.

There is an increase in new ways that users are relying on their smart speakers as part of their lives. Seventy-two percent of smart speaker owners say their device is now part of their daily routine. As brands are more successful at delivering relevant experiences, customers are integrating their smart speakers into their daily lives.

Have marketers cracked the code on delivering relevancy to customers via smart speaker skills?

The skills that are successful are starting to expand into new categories. While “sleep sound” skills are consistently the best-rated apps available, more users are finding value in other skills.

The verdict: Some have. Most haven’t.

The reasons users cite the most for why they are using smart speakers most frequently include:

  • Creates ability to multi-task
  • Quick access to answers
  • Creates efficiency in daily routine

Are customers ready for voice commerce?

Today, only 26 percent of smart speaker users have ever used their device to order products. Most of those users have only made a purchase once. But customers are using their devices daily for other activities.

The verdict: Not quite.

Being Everything to Everyone Is Killing Your Creativity

Some of the common concerns from users are that ordering via smart speakers eliminates the ability to see the product being ordered and customer privacy. For now, the most effective shopping use cases are for product replenishment when the user already has made a prior purchase of the same product.

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