August 9, 2018
New data compiled by ad agency, Digitas, has revealed that 85 percent of consumers who searched for products using a voice assistant chose the default result rather than a specific brand.
As BUSINESS INSIDER reveals, “brands need to start training people to voice their preferences, fast.”
This is because, as the report indicates, shoppers using voice assistants are “increasingly using generic terms like “batteries”, “diapers” or “paper towels”, then just going with the first result the device offers up.”
Some of the product categories people search for include beauty supplies, small home appliances, sporting goods and technology/consumer electronics, meaning that brands selling these kinds of products are under threat.
“They are worried,” said Brett Leary, Digitas’ Senior Vice President and Commerce Innovation Lead.
However there is still time for major brands to adapt to the vagaries of voice assistants, as The Information has revealed that “voice commerce has yet to catch on in a big way”, although 55 percent of households in the US are predicted to have a smart speaker by 2022.
“Brands’ biggest concern is: How do I make sure I’m not being substituted for Amazon?” said Ryan MacInnis, the director of marketing at Voysis, an artificial-intelligence voice platform that works with marketers. “Nike’s not worried about people just asking for ‘shoes,’ but for home-basics kind of stuff, it’s a worry. And you can’t see behind the curtain.”
Voice algorithms “are driving a wedge between brands and consumers in the form of a preferred option,” according to the report by Digitas. “The option first presented to shoppers…often isn’t the brand initially requested by the user.”
According to Brett Leary, brands “need to start training people in their ads to use specific brand names when conducting voice searches.”
He also said that “marketers should also start working with tech companies like Voysis to integrate voice searches into their websites and apps.”
The report by Digitas has indicated that “78 percent of Americans say they’d be likely to scroll through multiple product options during a voice search if they were also using an accompanying screen.”
Amazon has expressed disagreement with the findings in this report.
“Millions of customers use Alexa to shop because it is the most convenient way to capture needs in the moment,” said a spokesperson from the online retailer. “It’s as simple as saying, ‘Alexa, order dish detergent’ while you are doing the dishes or ‘Alexa, order copier paper’ as you reach for the last one.”
“We want to enable customers to shop in whatever way is easiest for them.”
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