Voice-enabled assistants remain a relatively untapped marketing channel, which is why the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has launched a new group to help brands understand more about the impact voice will have on the way people shop.

Called the Voice Coalition, it brings together several WFA members, including Mastercard, and has been founded in association with Fast-Up Partners, a European digital venture firm.

According to the WFA, which announced the launch at the Cannes Lions festival, the Voice Coalition “will aim to improve knowledge and understanding for brand marketers across all voice platforms, helping them benefit from this exciting new communications channel”.

To that end, the WFA also released the results of a new survey into how American and British consumers currently use the Alexa device and how they intend to do so in the future.

Based on responses from 1,500 consumers in the UK and US, as well as from focus groups in New York, the survey found that 35% use voice to check prices, 30% use it to add items to their shopping list and 18% use it to add items to a cart/basket. A further 15% have used voice to make a purchase.

In addition, 81% of those who added an item to their cart went on to buy it later and, the WFA said, the impact is “even more dramatic” among those who own an Alexa fitted with a screen.

Looking at future usage, the survey revealed that two-thirds (67%) expect to engage in voice commerce to add items to cart, while 60% are willing to use the technology to purchase directly.

Meanwhile, 68% of consumers are open to Alexa making recommendations about brands, while 77% are willing to let Alexa recommend an appropriate Amazon brand.

Food and groceries (47%) are the consumer categories most impacted by voice, followed by electronics/technology (40%) and pet food and pet care (31%).

“When quizzed on upcoming priorities, 55% of WFA members say voice will be big – and on par with influencer marketing,” said Raja Rajamannar, WFA president and CMCO of Mastercard.

“Given voice commerce goes well beyond marketing, it’s going to be of major strategic importance to companies going forward,” he added.

Sourced from WFA; additional content by WARC staff