Search by Algolia
How personalization boosts customer engagement
e-commerce

How personalization boosts customer engagement

You land on your favorite retailer’s website, where everything seems to be attractively arranged just for you. Your favorite ...

Jon Silvers

Director, Digital Marketing

What is retail analytics and how can it inform your data-driven ecommerce merchandising strategy?
e-commerce

What is retail analytics and how can it inform your data-driven ecommerce merchandising strategy?

There is such tremendous activity both on and off of retailer websites today that it would be impossible to make ...

Catherine Dee

Search and Discovery writer

8 ways to use merchandising data to boost your online store ROI
e-commerce

8 ways to use merchandising data to boost your online store ROI

New year, new goals. Sounds positive, but looking at your sales data, your revenue and profit aren’t so hot ...

John Stewart

VP, Corporate Communications and Brand

Algolia DocSearch + Astro Starlight
engineering

Algolia DocSearch + Astro Starlight

What is Astro Starlight? If you're building a documentation site, your content needs to be easy to write and ...

Jaden Baptista

Technical Writer

What role does AI play in recommendation systems and engines?
ai

What role does AI play in recommendation systems and engines?

You put that in your cart. How about this cool thing to go with it? You liked that? Here are ...

Catherine Dee

Search and Discovery writer

How AI can help improve your user experience
ux

How AI can help improve your user experience

They say you get one chance to make a great first impression. With visual design on ecommerce web pages, this ...

Jon Silvers

Director, Digital Marketing

Keeping your Algolia search index up to date
product

Keeping your Algolia search index up to date

When creating your initial Algolia index, you may seed the index with an initial set of data. This is convenient ...

Jaden Baptista

Technical Writer

Merchandising in the AI era
e-commerce

Merchandising in the AI era

For merchandisers, every website visit is an opportunity to promote products to potential buyers. In the era of AI, incorporating ...

Tariq Khan

Director of Content Marketing

Debunking the most common AI myths
ai

Debunking the most common AI myths

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CAN’T BE TRUSTED, shouts the headline on your social media newsfeed. Is that really true, or is ...

Vincent Caruana

Senior Digital Marketing Manager, SEO

How AI can benefit the retail industry
ai

How AI can benefit the retail industry

Artificial intelligence is on a roll. It’s strengthening healthcare diagnostics, taking on office grunt work, helping banks combat fraud ...

Catherine Dee

Search and Discovery writer

How ecommerce AI is reshaping business
e-commerce

How ecommerce AI is reshaping business

Like other modern phenomena such as social media, artificial intelligence has landed on the ecommerce industry scene with a giant ...

Vincent Caruana

Senior Digital Marketing Manager, SEO

AI-driven smart merchandising: what it is and why your ecommerce store needs it
ai

AI-driven smart merchandising: what it is and why your ecommerce store needs it

Do you dream of having your own personal online shopper? Someone familiar and fun who pops up every time you ...

Catherine Dee

Search and Discovery writer

NRF 2024: A cocktail of inspiration and innovation
e-commerce

NRF 2024: A cocktail of inspiration and innovation

Retail’s big show, NRF 2024, once again brought together a wide spectrum of practitioners focused on innovation and transformation ...

Reshma Iyer

Director of Product Marketing, Ecommerce

How AI-powered personalization is transforming the user and customer experience
ai

How AI-powered personalization is transforming the user and customer experience

In a world of so many overwhelming choices for consumers, how can you best engage with the shoppers who visit ...

Vincent Caruana

Senior Digital Marketing Manager, SEO

Unveiling the future: Algolia’s AI revolution at NRF Retail Big Show
algolia

Unveiling the future: Algolia’s AI revolution at NRF Retail Big Show

Get ready for an exhilarating journey into the future of retail as Algolia takes center stage at the NRF Retail ...

John Stewart

VP Corporate Marketing

How to master personalization with AI
ai

How to master personalization with AI

Picture ecommerce in its early days: businesses were just beginning to discover the power of personalized marketing. They’d divide ...

Ciprian Borodescu

AI Product Manager | On a mission to help people succeed through the use of AI

5 best practices for nailing the ecommerce virtual assistant user experience
ai

5 best practices for nailing the ecommerce virtual assistant user experience

“Hello there, how can I help you today?”, asks the virtual shopping assistant in the lower right-hand corner ...

Vincent Caruana

Senior Digital Marketing Manager, SEO

Add InstantSearch and Autocomplete to your search experience in just 5 minutes
product

Add InstantSearch and Autocomplete to your search experience in just 5 minutes

A good starting point for building a comprehensive search experience is a straightforward app template. When crafting your application’s ...

Imogen Lovera

Senior Product Manager

Looking for something?

facebookfacebooklinkedinlinkedintwittertwittermailmail

Maybe you’ve seen them: people talking while they’re strolling down the street or driving around town. A few years ago, this would have been a weird sight indeed. Now it’s totally normal. People want information instantaneously and they’re used to multitasking. They’re increasingly doing voice searches on their iPhones, Android phones, or smart speakers, asking the digital powers for directions, an update on the weather, or which local businesses carry an item they just found online. Now, we barely notice when someone does a Google voice search on “Where can I buy masks?” or asks “Alexa why the music isn’t playing. People who don’t have smart speakers are starting to seem a little antiquated.

And why not use voice search, as it’s a super convenient, quick way to do things in our modern world. It’s a joy compared with having to hassle with typing a query in a search bar on a screen, or trying to do a local search on a teeny-tiny little mobile phone keyboard (especially if you’re all thumbs). Getting voice search results is naturally faster and simpler in many situations. The research bears this out: 71% of Americans say they’d rather use voice search than mess around with entering a query on a keyboard (PWC).

Statistically speaking

So what’s the latest with voice search — who’s using it, what are they using it for, how much do they like using it, and where’s everything headed?

For starters, not surprisingly, the smart-speaker market has continued to make noise. An estimated 55% of American households were expected to own a smart speaker in 2022 (Juniper Research), and that figure should keep climbing as 5G networks come online.

As with much emerging technology, the young folks are the most on the ball: Millennials are currently the main users of voice search. However, all age groups, including seniors, are also using it more (eMarketer). After all, Grandpa should be able to play his classical music by shouting at his Amazon Echo from his wheelchair.

Alexa, why do people like voice search?

Here are a few statistics about how people are using voice search and what they’re planning to do with it:

  • In 2020, 52% of people using voice assistants were putting them to use either almost daily or a few times a day (NPR)
  • Roughly half of all consumers online research products by voice (Narvar), while slightly more than half use voice to shop for things like groceries (PWC)
  • According to Capgemini, an estimated 70% of consumers are using voice to shop instead of going to brick-and-mortar stores
  • 48% of voice-activated-speaker owners want to be provided with personalized tips and information from brands (Google)

Hey Google, what’s happening with mobile searches?

Talking on the phone seems so old-fashioned when you can now talk to your phone.

  • Web browsing is still the main feature being used on mobile devices, but voice searching is in second place (Perficient
  • Half of American drivers have used voice search while jetting around (Voicebot.ai)
  • 71% of consumers who wear devices say they’ll be utilizing voice search in the future (99 Firms)
  • 63% of marketers agree that including a voice app for smartphone users is “extremely important” (Voicebot.ai)
  • By 2023, roughly 8 billion devices will provide voice assistants (Statista)

Money talks

Voice searching isn’t just convenient for consumers, of course; it’s tied to vastly improving revenue for businesses. The outlook for businesses’ adopting voice search in a variety of ways continues to be rosy:

  • 71% of executives at companies believe voice search will improve the overall online user experience; 66% say it can help drive conversion rates and boost revenue (Adobe)
  • Most (three-quarters) businesses say they’ve already realized quantifiable benefits from voice- or chat-assistant initiatives. Those benefits have included a 20%+ reduction in customer-service costs (Capgemini)
  • Voice-driven shopping is expected to hit $40 billion (way up from $2 billion) by 2022 (Siteefy)
  • In 2030, the global AI-based and voice recognition market should reach $27.3 billion (insightSLICE)

Industry-specific updates

What are the latest ways voice search is being put to use for potential business gains, and where is its use most relevant and rewarding?

Ecommerce

Voice search in digital marketing and online shopping (“voice commerce”) is a continuing hot trend, and it’s no wonder,

with companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon embracing voice-assistant technology and rolling it out wherever people might want to ask for what they want. What could be easier  than asking Amazon‘s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Samsung’s Bixby, or some other voice assistant to help you stock up on a few cleaning supplies or point you to a refrigerator that’s online in the right size and color for your remodeled kitchen?

Providing a voice-search option is turning out to be highly lucrative for online businesses, so many companies are upgrading and optimizing their ecommerce websites to work with voice. One telling statistic: voice-based ad revenue is projected to reach $19 billion by 2022 (Juniper Research).

Voice-driven shopping also provides marketers with opportunities for suggesting personalized upsells and boosting business on web pages. For example, imagine that you’re shopping online, and just as you’re about to pay, a pop-up virtual assistant tells you about a tantalizing add-on that would cost you only a few dollars more. Chances are good that you’ll listen and may well say “What the heck?” and buy the additional item. A voice assistant can also remind you about products you’ve bought earlier and may want to buy again.

An in-depth study of online buying practices using voice that was conducted by Coupon Follow found that:

  • Convenience and saving time were the most popular reasons people used a voice assistant to help them shop; some people also cited saving time and money as major benefits 
  • Online shoppers who used voice spent an average of $136 more than people who solely shopped online
  • About a third of “avid online shoppers” use voice to buy something at least once a month
  • The most commonly bought items using voice? Groceries.

Regular commerce

Online shopping is convenient, but sometimes a trip to a brick-and-mortar store is needed or preferred, either after asking your voice assistant for information or in addition to having that first-time “conversation.” For instance, let’s say you’re out of coffee and need a quick caffeine fix. Starbucks provides a handy voice app that will let you reorder your “usual” item, plus look up your loyalty card balance. 

Some retailers are starting to offer a voice search option inside their brick-and-mortar stores as well, letting shoppers quickly find out where items are located on the floor and get product details. Instead of being greeted by a human sales associate asking if they can help, a prospective customer can head over to a self-service kiosk and talk about what they’re looking for. 

Kiosk speech technology is still being refined and has some challenges, such as background noise that can interfere with the device’s understanding of what the shopper wants. However, if voice search can be effectively used online, it makes sense that it can also ultimately be deployed everywhere else that’s relevant, from big-box stores to small boutiques.

Media

Another voice-search trend gaining steam is in entertainment: asking a device to play music on an app like Spotify, or find a movie on an app like Netflix. For example, people who watch Apple TV can speak a query to bring up search engine results across multiple apps.

News organizations are also getting into the spirit. For instance, The Economist has a daily edition that provides the morning news by voice request. And The Harvard Business Review lets consumers use a voice app to access an audio version of an emailed newsletter.  

Where’s voice search headed?

With the surge in online shopping due to the pandemic and huge influx of new products to online marketplaces, experts are predicting more demand for voice-centric user experiences.

We’re not there yet. Some people still have reservations about trusting a voice device; they’re understandably concerned about security or “Big Brother” listening in on them.

Still, people are mostly getting more comfortable with and confident about using their voices as a way to search. And it’s a win-win, because as they use voice search more, additional data is collected, which in turn improves machine-learning and AI predictions, thereby generating higher-quality responses to voice search queries, which makes the technology even more attractive to users. In short, voice search functionality will improve based on how fully customers and companies embrace and invest in it. 

As its capabilities keep developing, convenience and personalization will be key areas where people expect to see improvement. They may find that voice search becomes more “intuitive.”

The next quantum leap will occur when people en masse can feel that they trust the technology. “Once trust is established, consumers are willing to go to the next level of engagement, including higher levels of personalization, emotional connection, and value,” predicts CapGemini.

A few more CapGemini statistics about why voice search is winning:

  • More than two-thirds (68%) of consumers say a voice assistant lets them multitask and complete tasks hands free
  • 59% say that in terms of personalization, chat assistants are continuing to improve
  • People want more “humanlike” engagement with their voice assistants, for instance, more than half said they want to name their assistant

As these intriguing facts and trends illustrate, voice search is now a natural way for people to easily find what they want in an always-connected world. It’s here to stay, its outlook is bright, and it’s evolving fast. Hey Alexa, can you keep track of voice search statistics so that this article can be updated when voice search is even more mainstream?

If you’re impressed by the latest voice search statistics and ready to give your users voice search options, just speak up and our experts will be happy to tell you more. 

For more information

The next retail revolution will be spoken (eBook)

Voice search lessons: best practices for building a great voice experience (webinar)

How to harness voice search in the retail sector (use case)

Learn more about Algolia voice search (product offering)

About the author
Catherine Dee

Search and Discovery writer

linkedin

Recommended Articles

Powered byAlgolia Algolia Recommend

Voice Search statistics you need to know for 2020
ux

Dustin Coates

Product and GTM Manager

5 voice search trends to look out for
product

Dustin Coates

Product and GTM Manager

What is Voice Search?
ux

John Stewart

VP Corporate Marketing