As one of the fastest rising ecommerce trends, voice search is certainly the hype these days. And as an ecommerce business owner, it’s something you cannot afford to lose out on.
But before launching into optimizing your ecommerce business for voice search, there are important voice search stats and facts you need to wrap your head around. You’ll need to know what voice search is, what the most popular devices that offer search by voice features, where voice search is most popular, and more.
In this article, we present to you the ten most important voice search statistics you need to get your voice search efforts the kick start it needs. Let’s dive in!
- 1. Voice Search Popularity in The United States
- 2. Voice Search More Popular Than Typing
- 3. Smart Speakers Ownership in The US
- 4. Smart Speakers Usage in The US
- 5. Smart Speakers Usage for Shopping
- 6. Role of Voice Search in Buyers’ Purchase Journey
- 7. Voice Ads Are More Engaging
- 8. Voice Search Statistics on Mobile Devices
- 9. Voice Search Engagement
- 10. Uses of Voice
- Summary: Voice Search Statistics
- Want to Learn More?
1. Voice Search Popularity in The United States
An increasing number of people in the United States are using voice to conduct searches. Reports estimate there are 111.8 million people in the US using voice search features – a 9.5 percent increase from the previous year.
This means that currently, nearly 40 percent of all internet users in the US and a third of its total population are users of voice search (eMarketer, 2019). And all signs point to it growing in popularity with an expected 9.7 percent increase to 122.7 million users by 2021.
As we’ll explore in the next few voice search statistics, smartphones and smart speakers are currently the most popular devices among voice search users. But with other gadgets such as watches and wearables, TVs, and home appliances slowly offering voice search features, it may just be a matter of time before they become equally as popular – if not more.
2. Voice Search More Popular Than Typing
Nearly gone are the days of typing in a search query. Approximately seven out of ten consumers (71 percent) prefer to use voice searches to conduct a query over the traditional method of typing (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2018).
Despite more advanced features voice search capabilities offer such as carrying out online purchases or controlling other smart home gadgets, its most popular usages remain restricted to more basic features. Conducting basic queries and information requests aside, users like to use voice searches to do basic tasks like check on the weather, play music, and set a reminder.
But given the potential and benefits of voice search, it’s no wonder that it’s growing in popularity. This is particularly noteworthy for the disabled community and the visually impaired, who have benefitted from voice search as it allows them to bypass the inconvenient text-based functions.
3. Smart Speakers Ownership in The US
As of 2018, nearly a quarter (23 percent) of American households possess smart speakers, half of which have more than one (Microsoft, 2019).
The average household with a smart speaker in 2018 has 2.3 speakers, an increase from just 1.7 in 2017. In fact, as many as 14 million people became owners of smart speakers for the first time in 2018.
And more and more people are expected to purchase smart speakers, with ownership forecast to nearly double to 45 percent in 2019 and further rise 30 percentage points to 75 percent by 2020. This means that by then, three-quarters of all US households are expected to own at least one smart speaker by 2020.
4. Smart Speakers Usage in The US
Ownership of smart speakers is on the rise, but so is voice search usage with smart speakers. 52 percent of all smart speaker owners use their devices daily (NPR, 2018). Over a third use it to carry out voice searches.
Given the increasing use and popularity of smart speakers, if you happen to run an ecommerce business selling tech gadgets, consider amping up your marketing efforts around November. The period between Black Friday and the end of the year is proving to be a particularly popular time for purchases of smart speakers – 8 percent of the US population bought a smart speaker during this period in 2018.
And depending on your target market, you may want to prioritize one brand over another. Just so you have an idea, Amazon currently holds about 70 percent of the smart speaker market share within the US, far outperforming its main rivals, Google Home and Apple’s HomePod.
5. Smart Speakers Usage for Shopping
The rising ownership of smart speakers coupled with increasing ecommerce growth means more and more people have started to turn to their smart speakers to shop online.
In fact, the latest research figures show that as many as 34.7 million consumers in the US are expected to shop using the voice search feature on their smart speakers in 2020 (Emarketer, 2019). To put things in perspective, this represents an 11.8 percent growth from 2019’s 31 million.
The growth forecast is also showing no signs of stopping. This number is expected to further rise by 9.3 percent to 38 million next year. This is nearly three times the number of smart speaker shoppers in 2017.
Most of these online purchases will be on digital entertainment products such as movies and music, which the latest reports say have been increasing year after year. In 2018, 11 percent of smart speaker owners in the US said they used their devices to buy entertainment. In 2019, this number increased to 21 percent.
6. Role of Voice Search in Buyers’ Purchase Journey
With more and more people opting to shop via voice search, it’s important to understand at which stage of the purchase funnel their dependence on voice search is the highest.
Survey results show that online shoppers use voice assistance more extensively in the pre-checkout stages than for checking out itself – particularly in product research and addition to shopping list. More than half of all online shoppers in the US use voice assistance to help them research products, while over a third use it to add new items to their shopping list (Narvar, 2018).
But it doesn’t just end there. Voice assistance continues to feature in the post-checkout stages, with 30 percent of online shoppers using it to track their packages, 20 percent leaving reviews or ratings, and 17 percent using voice search to repurchase items.
Considering the above-mentioned voice search statistics on shopping, as an ecommerce owner, you may want to consider optimizing your site for voice search!
7. Voice Ads Are More Engaging
Just like all forms of media, ads also form a part voice search. In fact, as many as one in four consumers say they have heard an ad on a smart speaker before.
But there is one thing that differentiates voice ads heard on smart speakers from other more conventional forms of advertising such as print, TV, online, and social media—consumers tend to be more accepting of voice ads.
The latest voice search statistics show that 38 percent of consumers who have heard voice ads on smart speakers find them to be less “intrusive” (Adobe, 2019). 39 percent also say they are more engaging.
According to experts, it’s because voice ads have the ability to resonate with consumers on a higher level emotionally and personally.
Not only do consumers relate better to voice ads, but they’re also responding better to them. Nearly 40 percent of people who heard a voice ad have proceeded to purchase the item that was being advertised.
8. Voice Search Statistics on Mobile Devices
Currently, more than a quarter (27 percent) of the global online population is using the voice search feature on their mobile devices. (GlobalWebIndex, 2018) Usage is particularly popular among the 16-to-34 age bracket, with two-thirds of mobile voice search users falling into this particular age group.
If your ecommerce business targets both females and males, you’ll be happy to know that you may not need different strategies for these two gender groups as mobile voice search usage across both men and women are pretty even: 28 percent of men use voice-assisted searches on their mobile devices, compared to 26 percent of women.
In terms of markets, mobile voice search features are particularly popular among Asian countries. This is especially so in Indonesia, China, and India, where 38 percent, 36 percent, and 34 percent of all internet users reportedly carrying out voice-assisted searches on their mobile gadgets. For comparison’s sake, just 25 percent of US internet users use the voice search feature on their mobile devices.
9. Voice Search Engagement
72 percent of US consumers are engaging with voice search through digital assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana (Microsoft, 2018).
Of them, the Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri are the two most popular digital assistants, with 36 percent of all US consumers reported having used each for voice search. This is followed by percent by Amazon’s Alexa and 19 percent by Microsoft’s Cortana.
Of all the gadgets available that offer voice-assisted search functions, smartphones appear to be the leading device of choice for voice search users. More than 90 percent of consumers report having used their smartphones to carry out voice searches, compared to less than half on their smart speakers and just over four in ten through in-car voice assistants.
10. Uses of Voice
From the above voice search statistics, it’s clear that the technology is becoming increasingly popular and has the potential to revolutionize consumers’ daily lives.
But what are people using voice technology for?
According to a survey conducted by Adobe, the top task given to voice assistants by users is to play music, with around three in four (74 percent) users doing so (Adobe, 2019). This is a four percentage point increase from the previous year.
As many as two-thirds (66 percent) of consumers also use their voice assistants to get the weather forecast and 58 percent use it to set alarms and reminders.
These activities, which are more straightforward, are the most popular tasks carried out by voice assistants. When it comes to more tedious and complex tasks, however, usage falls significantly.
For instance, just 11 percent of consumers task their voice assistants with planning their travels by researching for hotels or flights. This number falls further to just five percent for finance management.
Now that you’re equipped with ten useful voice search statistics, you can begin to use them to give your ecommerce business the boost it needs.
Whether you’re interested in optimizing your ecommerce page or boosting your sales and marketing strategy of your tech ecommerce store, these voice search stats will certainly come in handy to help understand the direction that ecommerce and mobile ecommerce is heading towards.
Summary: Voice Search Statistics
Here’s a summary of the Voice Search Statistics for 2020:
- One-third of the United States population use voice search features.
- 71 percent of consumers prefer to conduct queries by voice instead of typing.
- By 2020, three quarters of all US households are expected to own at least one smart speaker.
- More than half of all owners of smart speakers use their device on a daily basis.
- 4.7 million US consumers are expected to shop using a smart speaker in 2020.
- 51 percent of all online shoppers in the US use voice assistance to help them research products.
- More than one-third of consumers say voice ads are less intrusive and more engaging than ads on TV, print, online, and social media.
- More than one quarter of the global online population is using the voice search feature on their mobile devices.
- 72 percent of US consumers are engaging with voice search through digital assistants.
- The top activities carried out using voice assistants are playing music (74 percent), checking the weather (66 percent), and setting alarms and reminders (58 percent).
Want to Learn More?
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Is there anything else you’d like to know about voice search statistics and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!