PMG Digital Made for Humans

Consumers Use Voice Tech Broadly, but Purchasing Behavior Still Low

2 MINUTE READ | March 13, 2020

Consumers Use Voice Tech Broadly, but Purchasing Behavior Still Low

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David Gong

With PMG since 2012, David Gong has led marketing initiatives at PMG, drawing on his past experience at agencies, publishers, and industry partners.

A recent eMarketer study reported more than 21 million people will have made purchases via smart speakers by the end of 2020, a number that’s two million lower than previously predicted. According to RetailDive, that signals the challenges retailers have in getting deeper adoption of voice technology by consumers. PMG’s Jason White shared his thoughts on how voice has evolved, and where he sees potential roadblocks for consumer trust and acceptance.

On the one hand, White is bullish on voice assistant technology being integrated into more and more cars. He “foresees a near future where voice assistant technology in cars will be able to communicate with in-home technologies to, say, turn on home heating and cooling or play mood music upon arrival.”

“Our lives are becoming more and more like a music video where we’ll be able to seamlessly flow from in-car experience and listen to the same tunes along the way,” White said.

On the other hand, retailers that focus on smart speakers may be overlooking the question of whether or not consumers will settle for a single “search result” that’s returned for their question or query.

“One of the things that I’m very curious about is if they’re going to accept the first answer that’s given to them,” White said. “In the case of a voice answer to somebody’s question… They’re not able to look and see what they feel is a close match to their question or from a news source that they trust.”

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We recommend a full read of the article, as it presents an expert opinion on what else needs to be done in order to improve user experience and data collection transparency.

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