The Power of Talk: how voice assistants can drive growth via Conversational Commerce

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The opportunity to engage with consumers via voice assistants will only grow as the number of users mounts and voice assistants become more sophisticated.

Consumers have found their voice when it comes to Conversational Commerce—the purchase of products and services via voice assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Our latest research of over 5,000 consumers in North America and Europe finds that more than half already use voice assistants in one form or another and over a third have already bought clothes, ordered groceries, or ordered a meal (see Figure 1) via a voice assistant.

Figure 1. Appetite for using voice assistants

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This signals a major shift in how consumers interact with brands and retailers and the role currently played by websites, apps and physical stores:

Consumers set to devote more of their wallet to Conversational Commerce
When we asked consumers how much of their total spend takes place via voice assistant compared to other channels, it’s only 3% today. However, this is set to increase threefold—to 18% of total expenditure in three years’ time (see Figure 2). This is a massive opportunity for retailers and brands looking for new ways to grow their business.

A good Conversational Commerce experience has a strong value upside
We found that when consumers have a good experience with voice assistants, 45% of them increase their spend with the brand—at least a few times or regularly. In addition, they are willing to increase their spend with the merchant by 8% on average.

Figure 2. Spending via voice assistants set to grow

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Who are the voice spenders?

To seize this opportunity, companies need to better understand consumers who are willing to use voice assistants. What do they want and need, and how can we engage with them and retain their long-term loyalty? To answer these questions, we analyzed the demographic data of “voice spenders”—the group of consumers who regularly spend money via voice assistants while buying products and access to services. The insight into their characteristics makes for fascinating reading:

  • Nearly a half of them are millennials. 47% of those spending money via voice assistants are between 22 and 32 years old. With millennials being both the largest demographic group in the workforce[1] and one of the largest spending groups,[2] it is imperative that organizations make the voice experience engaging and fulfilling for them.
  • They are tech-savvy, urban dwellers. Two out of every three voice spenders are tech-savvy and live in urban areas. Their friends and family frequently reach out to them for assistance and advice on technology-related matters.
  • Spending is currently focused on meals and consumer products. Nearly six out of ten voice spenders have spent money on ordering meals or buying clothes or groceries.

The opportunity to engage with consumers via voice assistants will only grow as the number of users mounts and voice assistants become more sophisticated, pushing up satisfaction ratings and increasing personalization. All those involved in eCommerce need to start a dialogue with their consumers about Conversational Commerce. You can find fuel for that conversation in our research report.



[1] Pew Research Center, “Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest generation in U.S. labor force,” May 2015

[2] Bloomberg, “Older Millennials Were the Biggest Spenders During Holiday Weekend,” November 2017

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