Voice Consumer Statistics: How Voice Shapes Your Customer Behavior [VCI Research]


Man with megaphone to represent Voice Consumer Statistics

Do you know the voice consumer statistics regarding how your audience uses voice?

Do you need to understand why and how your audience selects to use voice across devices and contexts?

Then get up-to-speed with our in-depth analysis of Voice Consumer Index 2022.

Conducted by Delineate, this Voice Market Research surveyed 2,000 individuals in the US, the UK and Germany, for a total of 6,000 respondents.

Beyond just giving you the charts and data, we provide the actionable voice marketing tactics and tips you need to reach your ever-changing customer.

In case you’re wondering why you need to know about your voice-savvy customer, listen to Jon Stine, Executive Director of the Open Voice Network:

Jon Stein

“… [I]it’s very clear what consumers want from voice technology: fast, accurate, efficient access to information that makes life better, faster, and less expensive. … [I]t’s increasingly clear that business will continue to migrate towards those firms who can speak with their customers. This is an industry roadmap to sustainable value creation. ”

Then use these voice marketing recommendations to make the business case for adding or increasing your use of voice across your business.

 

Voice Consumer Statistics: What Do You Need to Know Now?

About 100 million people or 35% of Americans 18+ own a smart speaker. (2022) While growth has been steady, the biggest increases occurred during the pandemic (2020-2021).People currently buy a smart speaker to upgrade technology, access media and other forms of accessibility

Voice Consumer Statistics - Voice Assistant Usage

During 2022, the biggest change consumers of voice-enabled technology have made is expanding their voice usage from voice assistants to a wide array of other voice-enabled devices. Choice of device for voice usage depends on the user’s location and needs intent.

Since the amount of time spent with voice and audio continues to grow at a faster rate than the size of your audience, use this opportunity to re-engage to retain these people as listeners.

Voice Consumer Statistics – Voice device use in US - chart

Actionable Voice Marketing Tips

  • Reach out to your existing audience to determine where they spend their time and the devices and content formats they choose based on the environment. Educate them as to the content formats you offer and where they can find them.
  • Leverage existing apps within your organization. Where necessary, create new visuals and promotion to build excitement and use. If your app doesn’t use voice functionality, you can tap into that of the device or create an audio version of your content.
  • Provide a consistent user experience across devices and platforms.

Customers Use Voice Everyday

In the US, on average, about 3 out 5 respondents USE voice functionality. More telling: about 1 in 5 voice consumers use voice devices multiple times a day.

Voice Consumer Statistics – most people use voice assistants every day

Actionable Voice Marketing Tips

  • Provide easy-to-consume content in a variety of formats to encourage “Never Users” to become “Users”. Focus this content on key activities to help “Never Users” become users. Recently, we stayed with my husband’s cousins and I was surprised at how many times during the morning she talked to her Alexa device.
  • Offer incentives to “High Users” to show their family and friends how to make their lives easier by using voice devices.

US Voice Use Spread Across All Age Groups

Voice usage is spread across age groups in the US. As with other forms of digital device use, this is likely attributable to needs and changes during the pandemic. (Note: This data is from 2021.

US voice use across all age groups
Don’t forget that your computer can talk and perform voice searches.

Actionable Voice Marketing Tips

  • Make your voice content marketing, other communications and promotions available across all voice and audio platforms. Transforming content from one format or ecosystem to another takes less work and cost than creating new content. So it reaches more people at lower cost per piece of content.how to promote voice content
  • Publish key references and links to owned media in each piece of voice or audio content to drive visitors to your site. Or, republish the content on your website or blog. Jennifer Lehner does this with her Front Row CEO.
  • Transcribe audio content into text to reach non-voice content consumers.

Where Does Your Audience Use Voice Assistants?

Home is where the voice is!

“More than 2 in 5 people speaks to a voice assistant via smart speakers and smartphones in the home!” —HeidiCohen Click To Tweet

 

Daily American voice usage extends beyond voice assistants in 2022.

  • 57% use smartphone at home;
  • 55% talk to a voice assistant; and
  • 47% use headphones.

By location, Americans use voice wherever they are. (Source: The Smart Audio Report)

  • 40% use voice outdoors;
  • 38% choose voice in their car;
  • 31% talk to their devices in their office or at work; and/or
  • 27% use voice while shopping.

US Voice Usage By Location 2022

Voice Consumer Statistics – US Use By Location - chart

Be prepared for your voice-first audience when they’re on-the-go. This improves your ability to enter the consideration set with “Near Me” searches and at retail information checking.

When it comes to voice, usage include:

  • Smartphones,
  • Smart speakers,
  • Hearables (or smart earphones) and other Internet of Things wearables,
  • Home entertainment,
  • Cars, and
  • Kiosks and other out-of-home voice-enabled devices.

As a marketer, focus on voice actions that have marketing intentions. For example, there’s no marketing implication when a consumer says, “Hey Google turn on the lights.” (At least after you’ve bought the devices.)

For example:
In New York City, phone booths have been replaced by freestanding out-of-home advertising locations. In addition, they have telephony and allow users to recharge their smartphones

NYC Out of Home Advertising via LINKNYC

For example:
Mercedes Benz uses their own proprietary voice communications and controls to protect their audience’s personal information.

Mercedes me connectOwner controlling vehicle with smartphone

Mercedes Benz in vehicle servicesDashboard with speech recognition built in

Voice Consumer Statistics: Why Does Your Audience Use Voice Assistants?

No surprise—Most consumers use voice assistants to perform native audio functions! The highest use cases are to check the weather (56%), to play music (55%) and to make a call (44%). (Source: 2021 Voice Consumer Index since not asked in 2022.)

Voice Consumer Statistics: Reasons - chart

Why US Consumers Use Voice Assistants Chart via VCI

Roughly a third of US consumers use voice assistants to automate and integrate use of other technology. Specifically, they use voice assistants to:

  • Automate time saving tasks (35%):
  • Integrate and control household technology (29%):
  • Find their phone (28%); and
  • Control their television (26%).

Again about one in ten used their voice assistant to make a purchase, mostly to book tickets. Based on my experience with our voice-enabled television through an Amazon Alexa Firestick, these tickets are most likely for entertainment and sports events as well as subscriptions that are cross-promoted. [Note: ‘Regularly’ and ‘sometimes’ categories were combined.]

Actionable Voice Marketing Tips

  • Enable connected and voice-first devices to access your voice assistants to improve efficiency for your customers. Include smartphone use. Also be prepared to support other brand’s products.
  • Provide and promote your on-boarding content to help new owners to connect their devices to their voice assistants and smartphones. Where possible, make your instructions and tutorials easy-to-use and add videos. Also, link to this information on your product pages, purchase receipts and FAQ pages.

How Do Customers Use Voice-enabled Devices By Category?

Beyond the growth of consumer use of voice via a variety of devices, what’s important for marketers is that they use it for activities with revenue implications:

  • 64% consume entertainment,
  • 54% shop retail;
  • 52% call for food delivery;
  • 49% check on consumer packaged goods;
  • 49% shop for local services;
  • 45% check on fashion;
  • 43% check travel options; and
  • 42% engage with their financial institutions.

Voice Consumer Statistics – Use of voice activated technology by sector

Actionable Voice Marketing Tips

  • Provide content marketing in voice or audio format to reach voice-first customers. Also distribute it across all voice and audio platforms at the same time.
  • Alert customers to the availability of voice content via owned media including your website, email and product packaging and instructions via QR codes.

How Do Customers Use Voice During The Purchase Process?

Voice Search Dominates the Buyer Process

45% of Americans use voice to search on their mobile device while 91% of voice consumers ALREADY use voice search for purchase related activities.

No surprise the biggest use cases evolved from native audio options such as radio. (Hat tip: Janice Mandel)

Translation:
“Near Me” searches. As Google Trends shows, these searches continue to increase.

Interest in near me searches

Additionally, don’t overlook other types of similar forms of search that your prospects and customers may use beyond talking to their voice-first device. These search-related options include maps, YouTube (which is audio with images), Yelp, TripAdvisor, Ratings and Reviews sites including Amazon, Yext (voice search specialists) and others depending on your business category.

Bottom line:

Voice search is a marketing MUST-HAVE or your prospective audience can’t hear you.Click To Tweet

 

Actionable Voice Marketing Tip

  • Make your business visible locally via “Google My Business. This is a no brainer and helps you to appear for “Near Me” searches including voice. Also include the physical address and phone number of your business on your website to attract on-the-go prospects.

How Do Customers Use Voice To Complete Purchase-Related Tasks?

American respondents used voice to complete these purchase-related tasks:

  • Searched for information about a product or service (58%):
  • Checked for answers to common product questions (57%);
  • Learned more about product price and/or availability (54%);
  • Checked for promotional offers or discounts (52%) ;
  • Compared the difference including price between 2 or more products (49%); and/or
  • Checked the location and hours of a retail location (49%).

Voice Consumer Statistics – What are people using voice - chart for

For example:
Walmart has a voice commerce relationship with Google Assistant.

voice commerce Google Assistant

McKinsey Research reveals, about one-third of B2B customers prefer to use a form of voice to complete a step of the customer journey. So, when creating content to support purchase and post-purchase, make sure that you transform it into voice formats.

B2B Buyers us a mix of sales channels - McKinsey - Chart

When it comes to purchase and post-purchase activities:
Understand that customers may be in your retail location or your competitors when they gather purchase-relevant information.

To finalize the purchase, Americans use voice to:

  • 65% tracked package location;
  • 62% checked status of purchase:
  • 55% reviewed or confirmed an order; and/or
  • 48% purchased a product for pickup or delivery.

Over 50% of voice users are likely to use conversational technology to get important purchase-related information across a wide range of categories. Therefore it’s critical to have audio formats and related metadata to make this content findable.

While younger demographics are more likely to use voice to purchase, expect this trend to change over time.

Voice Consumer Statistics – Younger Millennials are the most likely age group to use voice to make purchases - chart

Actionable Voice Marketing Tips

  • Provide easy-to-consume content in a variety of formats to encourage “Never Users” to become “Users”. This content should focus on key activities that will help the “Never Users”. Recently, we stayed with my husband’s cousins and I was surprised at how many times during the morning she talked to her Alexa device.
  • Ensure your mobile app provides voice to act as an entry point to your broader content across your organization. (Note: Some mobile apps can tap into the speaking voice of the smartphone.)
  • Improve customer on-boarding, distribute relevant content to product usage on your packaging, invoices or receipts and follow up emailings. Where appropriate, use QR codes to facilitate findability.
  • Offer incentives to “High Users” to show their family and friends how to make their lives easier by using voice devices.
  • Assess whether you need to add paid promotion to increase your brand’s ability to get heard across voice-first devices. Bear in mind you may need to target your promotion based on your audience’s listening preferences.
  • Track your order through the business’s operation and delivery to your home. Due to Amazon’s backend integration, they have the most control over every step of the process.

Voice Consumer Statistics: What Type of Concerns Do Consumers Have

Voice use provides an opportunity for marketers who are careful with their audience’s data security and privacy to stand out. About 4 out of 5 respondents get useful information from their smart assistant and can use it.

Privacy concern not a barrier for users

Roughly half of US voice consumers use voice for its speed over text (#ThankYouFatThumbs!) and to search. Click To Tweet

Voice Consumer Statistics: Do Your Customers Care About Privacy and Data Security?

While US consumer concern about privacy and trust ranks high, Voice Consumer Index data reveals that:

  • 1 out of 2 consumers have concerns about privacy.
  • 1 out of 3 don’t trust voice assistants. Further, this concern is reflected in their use of smart assistants. Owners turn off their voice devices when not in use to reduce being monitored by the device. Also, they don’t use voice devices in public.

Privacy trust and safety barriers

So, what can you do as a marketers?

Understand that the human voice carries more information than other forms of communication. This includes demographic and other factors.

Therefore, act responsibly with privacy and data security across your organization. Because Edelman’s Trust Barometer revealed that:

  • 3 out of 5 customers trust businesses, specifically their employers, in contrast to government and media.

The good news:
Customers consider your content marketing more believable and trustworthy than other sources! So consider your audience’s choice of information more broadly. Translation: Think beyond your direct competitors.

Trust in all information sources - Edelman trust barometer - chart

While privacy and data security are the biggest hurdles for voice marketers across the US, the UK and Germany, most people don’t realize how much voice and other personal information they already share.

For example:

  • Most businesses record customer service calls and others take voiceprints to identify customers. Also, major global corporations often share information internally such as Google Search and YouTube.
  • Also, there are cameras everywhere. Not only Google Maps/Earth, but also, many private and public organizations are watching to monitor security and provide access to events.

Actionable Voice Marketing Tips:

  • Transform your non-voice content marketing into voice formats. This will keep your content marketing visible over time and make it accessible to a wider range of individuals in different contexts.
  • Explain to visitors, prospects and customers when your organization records conversations, what they’re used for and how long you will keep the information. Often, it’s used internally for security and training purposes.

Voice Marketing Opportunities You Can Exploit!

Further, astute marketers can persuade their audience, especially prospects and customers, to use voice options because consumers want more from voice assistants. Notably, functions that save them time otherwise spent on tedious or organizational tasks.

Key voice consumer statistics include (Source: Voice Consumer Index 2021)

  • 45% of voice consumers want to know “what else I can do with voice?”
  • 42% of these consumers say”I want to do more with voice-enabled devices”;
  • 39% of voice consumers want voice-first devices to help them to multitask; and
  • 34% of voice consumers want voice devices to help them to be more organized.

Actionable Voice Marketing Tips:

  • Create voice content marketing to help prospects and customers better use their voice-first devices with your products and services. For example, provide audio or video instructions to explain how to connect them. Use your receipt and product pages.Home Depot’s explainer video is an example of voice or multi-modal content.

  • Cross-promote your voice-first content across your owned media. Include podcasts and audio versions of your other content. Since owned content remains more believable than government, media, advertising and social media according to Edelman’s Trust Barometer (2021).

Voice Consumer Statistics Conclusion

Regardless of what your boss or management team thinks, your audience uses voice functionality at home, work and play.

So, if you want your voice-first customer to hear you, then be available in the right contexts and content formats to get heard when they want to listen to your marketing.

Also transform you best performing content marketing into voice formats to keep your audience involved. Also provide audio content where it makes sense to your audience.

Start your voice marketing offering small and grow piece by piece of content and communications.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 22, 2021. It has been extensively updated with 2022 research. Where no comparable 2022 research was available, the original 2021 data was kept.

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