The total number of people who turn to a voice assistant to conduct their searches is on pace to surge dramatically over the next few years.
As artificial intelligence becomes more advanced, so too do the capabilities of digital voice assistants and the ways in which people leverage them. A new study published by Juniper Research has revealed that voice assistant usage is expected to increase by more than threefold from 2.5 billion devices in use last year to 8 million by the end of 2023.
Interestingly, while Android and iPhone mobile devices are currently the biggest platforms for voice assistants, it’s not smartphones that are expected to achieve the highest growth numbers in the future. Smart TV usage is poised to rise by slightly over 121% within the next five years, with smart speakers (41.3%) and wearable devices (40.2%) following behind.
This shows that the weight of IoT (Internet of Things) devices like the three mentioned above will become more significant in our daily lives as we progress into the future.
The smart speaker market has been on an upward climb since its inception, with Google and Amazon predicted to go from selling 98 million voice assistants last year, to a whopping 164 million by the end of 2019.
Over 74 million people in the United States will be using these smart speakers this year, and over a quarter of all US adults will conduct voice searches on a monthly basis. But it’s not the US adults that are leading the charge for increased adoption. A survey conducted by Speedpay® revealed that Millennials and Gen Zs are the ones embracing voice technology the most, with those 75% of those aged 18-22 and 70% of 23-34s admitting to increased usage.
There are still many questions that remain to be answered when it comes to how the above usage forecasts will impact the realm of commerce.
Voice commerce is on pace to become an $80 billion market by 2023, but that revenue will primarily comprise of money transfers and digital media purchases like music and movies – not physical products. Despite the fact that Amazon takes up the largest share of the smart speaker market at roughly 63%, only a tiny amount of its userbase are using its Echo devices for shopping. On top of that, a report by The Information back in August stated that of the people who did buy something using their smart speakers, 90% of them did not do it a second time.
Clearly, the opportunity is there for voice commerce to accelerate as voice assistant adoption rates increase, but overcoming barrier of payment friction still seems to be a significant challenge for ecommerce.
Even though voice commerce may be lagging, that doesn’t mean smart speakers can’t be leveraged to support generating more revenue.
From a marketing standpoint, the key is to start optimizing your search terms for voice searches. Whether its via a mobile device, a smart speaker, a smartwatch or a television set, you can easily start programming ads to be served upon common vocal search terms that will prove to be effective on any of the above devices.
If you’re looking for precise techniques to do this effectively, there are a few to add to your toolbelt. Take a more conversational approach to your keywords, optimize the content on either your landing page or your ads to revolve more around answering a question than simply providing information, and speed up your website! Voice searches are geared to provide fast answers, so if you haven’t taken the steps to improve load times, you’re only slowing yourself down and providing more friction for your customers.
At the end of the day, the opportunity is as large or as small as you make it out to be. By applying a few tweaks to your existing search strategy, you can position yourself to better capitalize on the voice crowd, which can only lead to increased success.