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Nearly 50 Percent Of U.S. Broadband Households Used A Voice-Activated Digital Assistant in 2017

Voice-based interactions are rapidly becoming the in-home norm, according to research from Parks Associates.

Approximately 48 percent of U.S. broadband households used a voice-activated digital assistant in 2017, according to new research from Parks Associates — a substantial increase over 2016 figures that sees voice-based interactions with devices becoming the in-home norm.

Per the report, Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa were the assistants used most commonly — with 50 percent of consumers saying they are “very satisfied” with the solution they are using.

“Innovations such as voice have resonated with consumers, quickly creating new opportunities for companies to leverage voice as a user interface within the consumer IoT,” said Elizabeth Parks, SVP, Parks Associates, in statement. “However, this expansion in voice assistants has also created a fragmented experience — consumers may interact with one assistant on their phone, a different one in their kitchen, and a third in their car. The smart home and IoT markets are working now to solve the problems inherent when many solutions operate within the home, to create a cohesive experience for the consumer.”

Voice Is The Norm

The “rise of voice” has been a hot topic for over a year now. But statistics like this simply serve to remind marketers that even if voice commerce isn’t fully mainstream, the behavior of turning to an assistant to ask questions, schedule reminders, and make repeat orders certainly is — meaning that it behooves brands to develop a voice strategy now.

As Parks Associates’ Dina Abdelrazik told GeoMarketing in 2017, “businesses must consider enabling a voice experience with their product or service offerings or risk falling behind to their competitors who do offer such an experience. Many businesses have already done so, often choosing to do so through Alexa with a custom skill.”

After all, “voice assistants can [significantly] improve the user experience by establishing new relationships with their customers, provide customer support, offer information about a retailer’s hours, or even replace the in-store sales experience. If a shopper can’t find an associate on the floor of a retail location, he or she can pull out their smartphone and ask their voice assistant the same thing they would ask an in-store associate.”