I strongly believe in conversational interfaces – especially voice. Conversation is the natural way in which people communicate, and this is the future of interactions between man and computer. If you remember the videos of two-year-old parents moving in iPhones and iPad, it's similar with devices like Alex and Google Home: children already know how to connect with them.
Last year, my team conducted a survey of Alexa users and Google Home to better understand their behavior and satisfaction with their devices. It turned out that interest in voice applications started to take off with all kinds of companies and brands entering space – the media, CPG, retail, food delivery, banking and much more.
This year, we reiterated our survey to determine whether user behavior and emotion to devices may have changed. We have also drawn deeper into some demographic-based interests. A survey conducted by Dashbot using Survat covered 1.019 Alexa and Google homeowners across the US.
Key customers this year:
- Voice assisted devices change in behavior
- The main features are most commonly used
- Discovering voice applications from other providers is still a problem
- Users are likely to use shopping devices
- Owners are satisfied with their devices and highly recommend them.
Voice assistants continue to change in behavior
As we saw last year, voice assisted devices change behavior. People use them throughout the day for various uses.
Almost 75 percent of respondents use their voice devices at least once a day, and 57 percent use them several times a day. These numbers are very similar to last year's results.
Looking closer to men and women, about 64 percent of men and 53 percent of women use their devices several times a day. Among the people who use their devices at least (less than once a month), women prevail at 7 percent compared to just 1.4 percent of men.
More than 65 percent of respondents reported that devices were changing their behavior or daily routines. About a quarter of people thought that the device changed a lot of its behavior, while 40.5 percent thought it had little. Only 19 percent said that the device did not change its behavior.
In their own words, many respondents described how they rely on the device, how integrated they are in their lives and how surprised they are, how much they use.
As voice assistants have become more and more popular and technology embedded in more types of devices, I expect to see significant changes in behavior. If you are a difficult Alexa or a Google Home user, how often did you talk to your device when you were traveling from home – at the workplace or in a hotel room? Amazon and Google are working on this, albeit with their business initiatives to provide devices in hotels and other locations.
Men often report more behavioral changes than women. Almost 33 percent of men answered "yes, it has a lot" compared to 20 percent of women. As we have seen with the frequency of use, in women who are weaker to rare use, we also see that the higher percentage of women in the search for the device did not change behavior: 23.3 percent of women responded "no" compared to 13.7 percent of men.
Interestingly, even 19 percent of respondents who stated that the device did not change their behavior still use the device regularly. Of those who say no, about 33 percent still use the device several times a day, and another 17 percent use the device at least once a day.
The main features are most commonly used
We asked respondents what features they use most often.
It turned out to be the most common use cases, listening to music, checking the time and asking for information. The basic functionality of the devices is also. Using third-party skills is less common (more on this at a glance).
Approximately 75 percent of respondents use the device to listen to music, 66 percent check weather, and 63 percent ask for information.
About 58 percent of those who listen to music do it several times a day, while only 34 percent of those who check the weather do it several times a day.
At the bottom end of use, only 23 percent of respondents use their home automation control devices. However, those who do this do it quite often. Almost 63 percent of respondents who use a home automation device do this several times a day, while others account for 22 percent at least once a day.
Looking at the use of sex, there are interesting differences.
While three application cases are the same for men and women, women have a slightly higher spending on each – about 5-6 percent more. For example, almost 77 percent of women listen to music, while 71 percent of them are men.
There are some features that men considerably use as women. For example, almost 42 percent of male respondents use sports results as compared to 18 percent of women. Other features include getting news (49 percent of men and 40 percent of women), shopping (36 percent of men to 26 percent of women), playing games (33 percent of men to 22 percent of women), and home automation (29 percent of men to 18 percent of women).
If we are talking about shopping, let's take a closer look at this example of use.
Users are willing to shop through their devices
Both Alex and Google allow users to buy through their own e-commerce services and – by adding account integration – to other sellers and services. Developers and brands can also earn their own Voice Application with subscriptions and in-app purchases.
We asked respondents whether they had ever made a purchase through their speaker. It turned out that 43 per cent of respondents, 58 per cent of men and 32 per cent of women, were women.
Based on what the respondents are buying, the products of their own e-commerce services (Amazon or Google Shopping) are the most common in almost 83 percent.
Interestingly, food delivery is also common in 53 percent. An example of "rearrangement", i.e. The ability to rearrange the same items as the previous order, through these interfaces, works quite well, as this can be done in shorter, more concise statements than in complex menu ordering. We also heard from a number of food delivery services that the rearrangement is quite common – consumers are always talking about the same thing.
We also asked our customers how likely they will buy in the future. About 41 percent said it was "very likely" to buy in the future, with an additional 20 percent declaring it "likely" to do so.
Interestingly, one of the biggest indicators, whether someone has made a purchase in the past, is more likely to buy in the future, whether they have both Alexa and the Google home. More than 56 percent of respondents who own both devices have made a purchase in the past, compared to 43 percent of Alexa and 39 percent who only have a home. Similar to future purchases, 57 percent of respondents who own both are "very likely" to buy in the future, compared to 41 percent of those who only have Alexa and 35 percent who only have a home. It's possible that consumers who have both devices are usually the first user and are more likely to try to purchase with the device.
Discovering voice applications from other providers is still a problem
Voice interfaces are still a relatively new space. About Alexa and Google Home have about 50 million devices in the US. There are about 40,000 third party skills for Alexa. In our latest survey, we found that many respondents did not even know that the phrase "Alex" and "Action" in the Google home is the third-party voice application.
The good news is that consumers use the skills of third parties, but they are not used very much. Based on the survey, 48 percent of respondents use one to three voice applications, while another 26 percent use between four and six. Only about 15 percent of respondents said they did not use them.
We asked respondents what their favorite voice applications are. More frequent responses were native features – listening to music, checking time and getting information. The most common third parties they call are Pandora, Spotify, Uber and Jeopardy.
Third-party application creators are discovering and gaining users' challenges.
The most common ways people learn about Skills and Actions are through social media, friends, and app store appliances.
From trademarks and developers, we often hear that social media, paid or ecologically, is one of the best channels for getting users for voice applications. According to the survey, over 43 percent of respondents sought skills through social media. Video virus virus campaigns are also recommended as they serve two purposes – they can be achieved through the influence and instructions for interacting with voice applications. Because there is a new space and a new user interface, users may not know what they can speak or have this particular voice application.
With Alexo users can ask the device for the latest skills or recommendations, even in categories. The device will walk in a series of skills and knowledge, each and every one by name, and asking whether the user wants to install or continue.
In addition, Alexa supports "can fulfill intentions" that developers and trademarks can use to help users discover their voice applications. For example, if Alexa Skill can support pizza ordering, the developer can indicate this as a "can fulfill" purpose and may be recommended by the device when a user requires a pizza order.
Google Voice still does not have a denominator that can be searched through voice. If you find a device for the latest Actions or Recommended Actions, it results in a type of "I do not understand" response or trying to provide a definite form of the definition, depending on the request – e.g. describes the "sporting action" when it asks for the latest "sporting actions".
Customer satisfaction is high
Users are usually satisfied with voice devices and recommend high level.
We asked respondents how satisfied they are with the ability of the device to understand, respond to the device, and general experience. The results are quite positive.
As regards the ability to understand the device, almost 44% of the respondents were very satisfied, while a further 34% were somewhat satisfied. Only about 13 percent were slightly or very dissatisfied.
Similarly, with regard to the response of the device, 44% of respondents were very satisfied and an additional 35% were somewhat satisfied. Only about 12 percent were slightly or very dissatisfied.
Based on the overall experience, 53% of respondents were very satisfied, while 29% were at least somewhat satisfied. Only 10 percent were slightly or very dissatisfied.
In addition, we asked respondents if there was anything about the device that surprised her, and the results show a high level of satisfaction. The owners were surprised at how many devices they can make and how the devices are known. A fairly frequent comment was how quickly the device is updated – "Everyday Something New" and "Everyday Christmas".
Owners are very satisfied with their devices and are happy to recommend them. Asked how to evaluate the device on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, the average rating of respondents was 4.4 stars.
Asked how to evaluate how likely devices should recommend to others on a scale from 1 to 5, respondents also rated 4.4.
Looking closer to the assessment, based on the effects the device has on behavior, we see general positive results. Respondents who said that the device changed their behavior, rated a lot of devices with a 4.9 star rating, and they are highly likely to recommend a device with a score of 4.9. Even users who said that the device did not change their behavior estimated the device for almost 4 stars and still are likely to recommend devices with 3.8.
We asked respondents if something surprised them with devices, and the more common were:
- How many devices can do it
- How smart is the device and the ability to answer a number of questions
- Ease of use
- Ability to understand the user's requirement
- User dependence on the device and how the device changed its lifespan
- Speed of responses
- Quality of responses
While most of the comments were generally positive, there were few complaints. The biggest complaint (still rarely compared to all positive responses) was frustration with the ability of the device to understand the user's request.
Generally, Alexa and Google Home owners are very satisfied with their devices. They are pleasantly surprised by all the things that devices can do, how smart devices are, and how dependent they are on devices.
While the voice assistant space is still relatively new, there is a possibility that monetization of brands is possible, as there is a strong indication of readiness for purchases via devices. As several brands develop voice applications, it will be interesting to see which useful examples they support – how they use the voice interface and whether they implement monetization options.
As many respondents have pointed out, devices are constantly improving – not only in terms of better understanding, but in all of these functionalities.
In this area, I still look lively and look forward to what I see in the future.
Arte Merritt is an executive director and co-founder of Dashbot, an analytic platform for Alexa, Google Home, Facebook, Slack, Twitter, SMS and other chat interfaces.