Amazon Echo

A new report, “Digital Assistants: Reordering Consumer Lives and Redefining Digital Marketing” released by Bing and iProspect, a digital marketing agency, discussed consumers’ readiness to incorporate technology while providing marketers’ opportunities to build brand awareness and loyalty. Revealing that voice-activated, digital assistants such as iOS Siri and Amazon Alexa prove branding and marketing opportunities.

The report confirmed that digital assistants are used across devices — smartphones unsurprisingly reigning as the dominant vehicle. And though there’s plenty of room for continued adoption, Siri and its cohorts are in the process of immersion into individual’s daily activities. “Digital assistants are not just an upcoming trend — they have already become mainstream, used by more than 500 million people and growing,” the report said. The embrace of said technology spans generations and demographics, the report noted.

In addition to providing frictionless search experiences, voice-activated assistants also provide a relief from digital fatigue. “Digital assistants offer the relief consumers are seeking by providing one central, cross-device entry point to their digital lives,” the report said. It was noted that more than 70 million consumers used ad-blockers this year — an increase by 34 percent year-on-year.

Personalized consumer experiences are ruling business strategies. The report discerns that voice-activated assistants will inject another customized component to the exchange between brand and shopper. “Consumers are ready to engage with technology in more intimate ways in exchange for an easier, more convenient way of life,” the report said. According to an AgilOne survey, 70 percent of consumers expect a personalized experience when interacting with brands.

Brand and retailers that offer voice-activated chatbots and checkout options will prove successful, the report suggests. “Consumers are always seeking superior, easier ways to shop — especially for high frequency, low-cost goods that don’t require much research prior to purchase,” the report said. “Smart home speakers create a new, easy way for individuals to restock home goods and everyday items. Why add an item to your shopping list when you can purchase it immediately with a simple sentence? Savvy brands are building integrations around this behavior as well.”

What’s more, as augmented and virtual reality becomes more immersed in e-commerce services, voice-activation has the potential to serve as central component of improved customer journeys. “Mixed reality and voice commands make a very natural pairing, fulfilling the human desires to see, touch, flip, shrink and zoom in on a product before they ultimately buy,” the report said.

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