Consumers are becoming accustomed to using voice commands, but it's still a minority who use them regularly.
According to an August 2018 Social Lens survey, 70% of US internet users have ever used a voice command on any device, though that figure drops to one-third for those who use them as part of their daily routine. Privacy concerns (55%) was the leading reason users haven't used voice commands more, while 36% are hesitant because the results are often inaccurate.
The inaccuracy problem varies by device, though. According to the respondents, smart speakers understand a request 82% of the time. Smart TVs, game consoles and smartphones were said to get a request right roughly three-fourths of the time, while users had disappointing results with tablets more often.
The leading ways consumers used voice commands were getting directions (63%), making a phone call (60%) and listening to music (56%). Broader commerce queries were more common than discrete shopping tasks, since there is higher a likelihood of being misunderstood with more specific questions. Commands like finding a nearby store (40%) and getting store hours (32%) were conducted more frequently than finding a new product (25%), comparing prices (16%) or purchasing a new product (10%). Interestingly, re-purchasing a product, an action that would seem to lend itself to voice commerce, had the lowest usage (8%).
Loup Ventures tested four smartphone assistants using different types of questions. Each had their strengths and weaknesses. For commerce-related queries, Google Assistant (77%) outperformed Siri (60%), Alexa (44%) and Cortana (20%). All were more accurate for store location questions compared with requests for re-ordering products.