Study: Voice search usage remains sluggish

Though voice search has been available for several years, user adoption is still slow.

A mere 20% of consumers use voice search, 62% don’t use the technology at all, and about 18% have used it, but then stopped, according to new research from NetElixir.

Of those who do use the technology, 46% use it daily, and 24% use the technology on a weekly basis.

A majority (71%) of consumers are not making purchases via voice search, and just 29% use voice search to research products. Among those who are making purchases, 43% of voice search users buying music, books and other forms of media. Household items (26%), purchases through voice apps like Dominos and Uber (19%). Apparel (15%) rounded out the other purchasing categories.

When it comes to device usage, an overwhelming 64% use voice search technology on their mobile devices. This correlates to the most popular reason indicated for using voice search — because it allows them to conduct hands-free searches (50%).

Dedicated home assistants, such as Google Home and Echo, captured 35% share or use. Most voice search users, 64%, have been engaging with the technology for two years or less, and 21% have started within the last six months, indicating that the technology is growing in popularity.

“Voice search is an emerging technology that is gaining traction. Our results indicate that though consumers are using it more, most still rely on traditional text-driven, on-screen searches,” said Udayan Bose, CEO, NetElixir.

“The purchasing trends for voice search are very revealing and have implications for brands and retailers. I predict that brands will be the victors with voice search as consumers are likely referencing specific brands when buying via voice,” Bose added. “In order to maintain market share, retailers should create voice search opportunities on their e-commerce stores.”