With Alexa Echo Dot as the highest selling item on Amazon globally in 2018 (a 200% YoY Growth) and more than 74 million Americans owning a smart speaker, one must wonder… What are people actually using Alexa and Echo for?
There’s a ton of hype surrounding popular voice assistants. I mean, more than one million people registered to pre-order Echo Auto. What is making everyone flock to purchase a smart speaker?
Top Uses for Voice Assistants
As of now, the only place one can actually purchase something entirely through voice is Amazon, but this doesn’t mean that voice commerce end there. If we take into consideration the complete buyer’s journey, from the moment a person is initially aware of an issue and sets out to find possible solutions, through the consideration phase in which possible solutions are compared, all the way to the purchase intent, voice commerce turns into an infinitive world. That the actual purchase doesn’t take place using a voice assistant doesn’t diminish its role through the whole process.
For example… Anne realizes that her hair is unruly and frizzy. She asks Alexa for the best remedies for damaged hair (awareness). Using the article reader skill, Alexa lists off a series of remedies. There are several options; leave-in conditioners, hair masks, homemade natural concoctions (consideration). But it was the last option that caught Anne’s attention: Get a haircut. She realizes that it’s been a while since her last haircut. Her split ends confirm her decision: She’s getting a haircut.
“Alexa, what’s the best hair salon near me?” Based on the website’s schema markups, Alexa pulls a hair salon with great reviews (decision). “Alexa, please call the salon.” And voila, Anne has practically completed a purchase using voice.
Managing Smart Appliances
It’s not all shopping and entertainment with voice assistants, they can actually be pretty useful around the house (if you have compatible smart home devices). From security cameras to light bulbs, temperature control to speakers and TVs, you can pretty much control most of your home’s appliances with voice. I mean, there’s even a voice-activated sprinkler controller and robot vacuums. Looks like household chores are about to get a lot easier…
Why not have a little fun with your voice assistant pal? Voice assistants can play your best playlist, read and audiobook, put on your favorite TV show. It can list movie times, search for recipes, play games… it can even tell you a few jokes.
AI assistants are in constant evolution. New functionalities added to Alexa are called skills and they can be downloaded on Amazon’s website. App developers are rushing to make apps voice-friendly, with the list of compatible apps increasing every day.