This Survey Reveals How Popular Voice Search Is Among Consumers

According to Roy Amara’s oft-cited law, people tend to overestimate the impact of new technology in the short run, however, underestimate its impacts in the long run. This law appears to be specifically applicable to usage of voice as well as digital search.

Siri was introduced over ten years ago, and steady growth in the usage of voice and virtual assistants has been recorded since then. The market has not transformed since Siri was introduced. While several people were expecting that Smart speakers will prove to be the revolutionary product, they are still in their initial growth phase.

Now, a recent survey from Perficient Digital indicates that voice may have plateaued. The agency has been performing surveys and asking more than 1,000 US adults about their usage of voice, virtual assistants, and voice search, for the last four years. The survey performed last year discovered that voice was second to the smartphone browser as the ‘first choice’ entry point for mobile search.

This year the agency asked respondents five different questions and the use of voice search ranked fourth. However, the latest survey by the agency did not replicate this ‘first choice’ segment of the last year’s survey. Respondents were asked about how they are most likely to ask queries on their smartphones.

Most people (around 75 percent) said that they prefer to manually enter text into a search application, internet browser, or search bar on the smartphone. Thus, usage seems to be flat. According to the survey, usage of voice seems to be down for users at all education levels, although voice usage is positively correlated with education. Those people with more education tend to use voice more as compared to individuals with less education.

When the respondents were asked how often they use smart speakers to search for data, 56% said that they never use them or use them less than twice a week. 44% of respondents use smart speakers at least twice a week, and 20% and 44% said that they use them 6 to 9 times every week.

User frustration with virtual assistants not being able to understand commands or questions explain this flat-to-declining use. Enhanced accuracy and improved comprehension may be able to generate extra usage frequency. Voice seems to be just an alternative input mechanism for text, however, it also represents a different user experience.

Behind the scenes, this technology is becoming more sophisticated. The survey also points out that voice is central for the majority of non-traditional connected gadgets. It has also been recorded that 77% of all internet-connected devices are other than a computer, tablet, or mobile.

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