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Almost a third of smart speaker owners are using their device to interact with brands

Tyrone Stewart

Google Home MiniA healthy portion of UK smart speaker owners use their devices to make purchases and interact with brands, presenting an opportunity for the businesses that get it right, according to research from AI and data-driven agency Artefact UK.

The survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 60 per cent of smart speaker owners have used their devices to make a purchase in the past year, with 22 per cent doing so in the past week. At the same time, 31 per cent of owners have used their smart speakers to interact with brands. These brand interactions are dominated by places like Amazon, supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, and takeaway delivery services such as Domino’s.

However, 45 per cent of smart speaker owners feel they aren’t getting the most out of their devices. 57 per cent use them to listen to music, books, or podcasts, while 47 per cent use basic voice search functions including weather forecasts and recipes, and 38 per cent use their smart speaker as an alarm clock.

“There seems to be a significant disconnect in how people are using their smart speakers, as compared to what they ‘think’ they should be able to do with them. As the number of households owning smart speakers grows there is a significant opportunity for brands that can rectify this. This lies in both optimising search for voice and through branded skills that play to what people actually want from their devices,” said Sarah De Martin, managing director at Artefact.

“The NHS made headlines recently when it announced its Alexa skill, which illustrates this point. It also shows that it’s not just the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google that can reach a mass audience through voice. The race is on for a brand to redefine what voice technology can and should be. The age of voice has arrived, so don’t get caught with nothing to say.”