Retail Revolution – How people interact with Voice in their daily lives
Chelsea Horncastle
30 September 2019

Download a summary of the study here.


September 2019 – Voice is the leading AI technology for consumers. As part of the Retail Revolution global research initiative, OMD set to unearth current Voice behaviors and openness to near future capabilities. Overwhelmingly, people feel that voice control is the future and a natural progression of technology – action at the speed of thought.

To investigate how people use Voice in the daily lives, OMD partnered with 2CV to conduct a multi-phased qualitative research project across the UK, USA and Spain, looking at both current behaviors and perceptions as well as openness to future capabilities.

Voice technology is becoming engrained in people’s daily routines, adapting to different roles throughout the day depending on the usage occasion and location. Currently, popular voice features can be grouped across three broad usage categories including entertainment (games, music, jokes, etc.), information/assistance (general questions, updates, alarms, etc.) and automation (lighting, thermostats, etc.). Although the technology is already delivering a strong experience, even the heaviest Voice users feel like they are still ‘beginners’ as they actively look for new ways to further integrate voice features into their lives. Overall, the technology feels full of potential just waiting to be untapped.

“I think it is so convenient and innovative. Overall, I feel comfortable and really enjoy the convenience of using my voice,” said a female respondent, 38, Young Family, USA. “I think we will find ways to use voice in more and more devices in the future.”

"... I think we will find ways to use voice in more and more devices in the future.”

Households with children are generally more experimental when it comes to Voice. Adults typically take a more utilitarian approach in their relationship with the technology, while kids are much more likely to explore and play with voice features inspiring new functions for the entire family. Parents welcome Voice into their lives as an ally to help them multi-task, as well as a source of entertainment and knowledge for their children.

“The kids love to ask it silly questions and playing games with it – it’s great to have something that I find really useful, but the kids also enjoy using it,” said a male respondent, 42, Young Family, Spain.

When it comes to brands’ role in Voice, people are open to interactions that are useful, relevant and time-saving. However, current awareness and usage of branded voice experiences are limited – often being confused with core functionality. Due to a lack of a screen, Voice users feel there are less opportunities to discover new features and uses. Brands have an opportunity to build this awareness and encourage voice experiences across their products, channels and platforms.

“I like the idea of brands creating useful skills – but if I have to say the brand name for no good reason to activate the skill, that’s pretty annoying” said a Male respondent, 41, Young Family, UK.

“I like the idea of brands creating useful skills.”

About the Retail Revolution

To enhance our understanding of how consumers accept, understand and trust AI in their daily lives – OMD has invested in the Retail Revolution global research initiative which began in 2017 and has evolved over the last two years to represent people’s current perceptions and the technology landscape. Through multiple research phases including quantitative and qualitative methodologies, we have tracked over 30 thousand respondents across 13 global markets, 21 shopping categories and 65 future retail scenarios. With a wealth of data on people’s adoption, usage and openness to smart technologies, we can create more valued and valuable brand experiences as a result. For more information please contact [email protected]

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