PARIS: Voice assistants are set to become a dominant mode of consumer interaction in the next three years, according to new research which also indicates spending by existing users via voice will grow as much as sixfold in the next three years.

A report from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, Conversational Commerce: Why Consumers Are Embracing Voice Assistants in Their Lives, was based on a survey of more than 5,000 consumers in the US, UK, France and Germany, which found that 51% of respondents were already using voice assistants, mostly on their smartphones.

The spending mix of currently active users of voice assistants was divided 3:38:59 between voice assistants, websites/apps and physical stores.

But these consumers expected to significantly increase the voice element at the expense of bricks and mortar; three years from now the spending mix looks rather different: 178:37:45.

A similar shift is expected among those not currently using voice, from 0:29:71 to 7:31:62.

“Voice assistants will completely revolutionize how brands and consumers interact with each other,” said Mark Taylor, Chief Experience Officer, Digital Customer Experience practice, at Capgemini.

“Brands that are able to capitalize on the huge consumer appetite around voice assistants will not only build closer relationships with their customers, but create significant growth opportunities for themselves.”

Already around a quarter (24%) of respondents would rather use a voice assistant than a website, a figure that will rise to 40% in the next three years.

And close to a third (31%) said they would prefer a voice assistant interaction to visiting a shop or a bank branch, compared to 20% today.

Streaming music and seeking information remain the most popular usages for voice assistants today, but over a third of respondents (35%) had also used them to buy products such as groceries, homecare and clothes.

Brands need to consider the consumer experience and the effects of word of mouth.

The report found that 37% of voice assistant users would share a positive experience with friends and family, and even 28% of current non-users would want to transact more frequently with a brand following a positive experience.

This equates to serious potential financial gain, noted Capgemini, as consumers are willing to spend 5% more with a brand following a good experience with a voice assistant.

Sourced from Capgemeni; additional content by WARC staff