Voice-Activated Assistants – Is it Cool Enough for The Young?

by Karen Augustine 0


A recent article in Tech Crunch released the findings of a new report published by PwC on the adoption of voice-activated virtual assistants. The survey suggests that younger adults aged 18-24 years old use voice-activated assistants, but use them less often than older adults who have tried them. PwC says the voice assistants technology adoption across all platforms, whether it be smartphones, tablets, computers, tv’s, cars, wearables, and speakers is driven primarily by young adults, households earning $100,000 or more a year, and particularly those with children.  It is the 25-49 year old that appears to be the most frequent user of voice-activated technology. Younger adults cite the privacy factor as the reason for not using it so often. Interestingly, half of the voice-activated assistant users used it to buy goods and services, though not very often.

  “Younger users prefer to use voice technology in private instead of in public. They said that using voice assistants in public “just looks weird.” And because younger users likely spend more time outside the home, they end up using voice assistants less. Overall, the majority of people (74%) are regularly using voice technology in the home, while cooking, multitasking, watching TV, and lounging in bed, for example, in the privacy of their own home. There are still some barriers to the adoption of voice technology, however, including consumer’s concerns that assistants are growing too complex or expensive, a limited understanding of what to do with voice devices, and lack of trust.”

Perhaps the privacy issue and the “cool” factor is the reason that according to Mercator Advisory Group’s CustomerMonitor Survey Series’ Digital Banking: Improvements Are Needed to Compete with Fintech report published in March 2018, found that while just as many consumers use voice-activated virtual assistants (34%) than text-based chatbots (35%), young adults are more likely to use text-based assistants (59%) than voice-activated assistants (56%). And, overall, consumers are more likely to use text-based virtual assistants than voice-activated assistants to conduct banking activities, purchase goods or services or send money to friends or family.

Yet, the need for virtual assistants, particularly when using mobile devices makes it easier and faster for consumers to perform more functions and navigate to find what they’re looking for.

For more information on the Mercator Advisory Group CustomerMonitor Survey Series reports, please go to www.mercatoradvisorygroup.com/PrimaryData.

Overview by Karen Augustine, Manager, Primary Data Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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