Half of online consumers globally now use digital voice assistants, led by emerging markets such as India with 72 percent adoption, says a new study. Standalone voice assistants – or smart speakers – are one of the fastest-adopted technologies in India and have a 97 percent satisfaction rate among Indian consumers, according to a new research report from Accenture, based on a global survey of 22,500 consumers across 21 countries, including 1,000 India.
“With increasing adoption and satisfaction levels of smart speaker technology in India, we will see digital voice assistants influencing the whole consumer technology and service ecosystem in a way that no other device, including smartphones, has done before. As consumers shift behaviours from smartphones to voice assistants, there’s a clear expectation that smart speakers will take on progressively complex workloads in the future,” said Aditya Chaudhuri, a managing director and lead in Accenture’s Communications, Media & Technology practice in India.
“Brands that can offer advanced artificial intelligence capabilities within devices and interfaces could control the ecosystem of products and services offered to consumers in their home. It will be critical for brands to develop close partnerships that ensure their products and services are offered through the dominant ecosystem,” he added.
The report, “Reshape to Relevance,” notes that smart speakers are disrupting the consumer technology and service ecosystems. Ninety-six percent of Indian consumers expect their home device purchases, such as smart TVs or computers, to be based on ease of integration with their standalone smart speaker.
The relevance of smart speakers is reflected in consumers’ expectations to use these devices for more-advanced tasks beyond routine activities like voice calling, playing music or eBooks, and accessing news. Globally, consumers see value in voice assistants managing home security (61 percent of respondents), providing connected home automation (59 percent), paying bills and providing payment alerts (55 percent) — even making restaurant reservations (53 percent) and providing access to virtual medical advice (52 percent).
However, trust is a potential impediment to greater adoption of smart speakers, with 41 percent of consumers globally citing privacy concerns and 40 percent citing security concerns with the technology. Forty-six percent of consumers globally believe they don’t have control of their data with voice assistants and 58 percent are more likely to re-evaluate their trust in this service by continually checking how their information is being used.