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80 Key Voice Search Statistics: 2021/2022 Market Share & Data Analysis

Throughout history, technology has empowered people to survive the many dangers this world brings. To outsmart the deadly yet invisible COVID-19 virus, technological innovations like voice search offer life-saving ways to allow us to continue our day-to-day routines safely. Its main feature that supports users perform contactless communication and transaction has been proving to be highly indispensable during these trying times.

We have compiled voice search statistics and facts on how voice search and related technologies are enabling people, businesses, and industries prior to and during this global pandemic.

key voice search statistics

1. Voice Technology and COVID-19 Statistics

The world is plagued by a virus that is transmitted “through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected” individuals (WHO, 2020). As such, the norm has become preventing or minimizing any form of physical contact with any person or potentially contaminated surfaces. In fact, experts believe that this norm will likely persist even after the pandemic.

General Impact of COVID-19

  • The widespread lockdowns had resulted in a sudden 70% proliferation in the use of laptops and smartphones as of March 2020. (GlobalWebIndex, 2020)
  • For the same period, a 7% increase in the use of voice assistants worldwide was reported. (GlobalWebIndex, 2020)
  • 64% of US consumers consider phones and the internet are helpful but will not replace in-person contact. (Pew Research, 2020)
  • 77% of customers worldwide predict rapid growth in their dependence on voice-based technologies. (Capgemini, 2020)
  • Google Assistance has around one billion users, 500 million of whom are active users every month. (Voicebot, 2020)
  • 50% of internet searches in 2020 are expected to have originated from voice-based searches. (Voicebot, 2020)
  • 30% of online searches will be made using screenless gadgets. (Voicebot, 2020)

On Retail Industry

  • Retailers are likely to set aside their recently-installed touch screen devices in favor of pushing the use of voice assistants because of COVID-19. (NewTech Europe, 2020)
  • A 100% reduction of the touch element is what voice search offers to customers when making purchases using contactless cards. (TheDrum, 2020)
  • Google and supermarket chain giant Carrefour will collaborate to implement voice-activated grocery shopping in France. (PYMNTS, 2020)
  • 52% of consumers worldwide plan to increase their use of cashless payments and contact-less delivery to prevent touching things as they shop for groceries or other goods and services. (EY, 2020)

On Restaurants & Hospitality Industry

  • Almost 60% of hotel and luxury travel customers favor establishments that provide health and safety protocols that include contactless payment options. (PYMNTS, 2020)
  • 36% of diners worldwide anticipate significant changes in how they dine in restaurants for the long term. (EY, 2020)
  • 31% of restaurant customers have expressed their preference to selected establishments that offer contact-less payment or digital ordering options. (EY, 2020)
  • 58.6% of customers worldwide prefer to use alternative payment methods over using traditional card readers. (PYMNTS, 2020)
  • By 2022, smart speakers will be used by consumers for voice shopping which is projected to reach a total of $40 million in revenue. (GritDaily, 2020)

On Healthcare Industry

  • Every day, more than 1 billion searches are made on Google that relate to health and healthcare. (SHSMD, 2020)
  • As over one-third of US consumers own smart speakers, the number of voice search use cases in healthcare continues to increase over the past years. (SHSMD, 2020)
  • The use of voice assistants has increased during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. (SHSMD, 2020)
  • More than 19.1 million people have relied on voice assistants to search for healthcare-related data. (Voicebot, 2020)
  • Over 50% of American adults say they would use voice assistant gadgets for healthcare-related uses. (Chatmeter, 2020)
  • 65.9% of adults in the US that use voice assistant devices when searching for local health professionals and establishments. (Chatmeter, 2020)
  • In 2019, the most number of voice assistant usage for healthcare was to inquire regarding illness symptoms, at 72.9% of all use cases. (Chatmeter, 2020)

Source: Voicebot.ai (2020)

2. Global Smart Speaker Market Statistics

Since the boom of smart speakers, voice search usage has increased dramatically. These standalone speakers are designed to interface with both first-party and third-party applications and content through a cloud-based voice assistant. In 2015, there were only 1.7 million voice-first devices shipped in the US (Search Engine Journal, 2020). A year later, that number blew up to 6.5 million. The following year, consumers were introduced to Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Homepod in a big way. This has fueled the current rise in voice search usage. In this section, we will review some statistics from the past two years.

  • The total smart speaker sales worldwide are expected to reach 163 million units in 2021. (Canalys, 2020)
  • Global smart speaker revenue is predicted to reach $35.5 billion by 2025. (Loup Ventures/Statista, 2020)
  • China led the world in speaker sales during the pandemic, still managing to grow by 16%. (Canalys, 2020)
  • The global smart speaker market reached a triple-digit growth of 131%, Q1 2019 (Canalys, 2019)
  • In 2019, Chinese manufacturers overtook US vendors by growing to almost 500% year-on-year in the first quarter (Canalys, 2019)
  • US smart speaker global shipment dropped from 44% in Q4 of 2018 to 24% in Q1 2019 (Canalys, 2019)
  • China takes up 51% of global smart speaker shipments in Q1 of 2019 (Canalys, 2019)

Source: Statista, 2020

The market in East Asia, especially China, is very fertile. China is rising and is already a major global player. Furthermore, the top three largest companies worldwide are located there. Also, experts expect global smart speaker growth to continue rising dramatically in the future. Furthermore, we can expect more adoption from countries like Japan and Singapore in the coming years.

3. US Smart Speaker Market Statistics

Sure, the global market is being taken over by Chinese brands such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Xiaomi. However, US brands still have a strong foothold domestically. It is not that surprising as US companies like Google were early innovators in voice-assisted technology. In May of 2017, Google’s voice search reached a very high 95% accuracy (Search Engine Journal, 2020). In this section, we will look at the shape of the US smart speaker market in the past two years.

  • 77.8% of American consumers are making product inquiries using their smart speakers. (eMarketer, 2020) 
  • Amazon had a 71.9% share of the smart speaker market in 2018. However, this later dropped to an estimated 61.1% in 2019 (Voicebot, 2019)
  • In 2018, Google had an 18.4% market share. This rose to 23.9% in 2019 (Voicebot, 2019)
  • Other manufacturers gained 5.3 percentage points from 2018 to 2019 in the smart speaker market. This is from 9.7% to 15% (Voicebot, 2019)
  • 27% of US consumers used voice search using smart speakers (PWC, 2018)
  • Only 13% of US households owned a smart speaker in 2017. Ownership is expected to reach 55% by 2022 (OC&C Strategy, 2017)
  • Only 18% of consumers have used smart speakers for local voice searches (Bright Local, 2018)
  • At least 17.2 million people have used a smart speaker to make at least one purchase using a voice command in 2018 (eMarketer, 2019)
  • US smart speaker ownership rose 40% to 66.4 million in 2018 (Voicebot, 2019)

Voice Tech Key Growth Segments in the US

Voice-first devices are getting off the shelves much quicker this year. Amazon has since claimed the top spot among providers. Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo statistics show that there might be even more room to grow. Lastly, experts predict a surge in general smart speaker sales and thus, more voice search usage. But what do Americans really use voice search for? Check out the voice search report in the next section.

4. Voice Tech Usage in the US Statistics

The uses for hands-free voice-first devices seem to be endless. You can control other devices with it, like your smart home. People also use voice assistants to compose and send messages and emails. In this section, we compiled relevant facts and statistics from various voice search research sources to give you an idea about end-consumer behavior.

General Voice Search Statistics

  • US voice-enabled digital assistant use was estimated to reach 75.5 million in 2019 (eMarketer, 2019b)
  • The voice search penetration rate for smartphones is up to 70.5% (eMarketer, 2019b)
  • 39.4% of US internet users are estimated to use a voice assistant at least monthly in 2018 (eMarketer, 2019)
  • It is estimated that there will be a total of 77.6 million users in the US this year. This represents 27.3% of US internet users and 23.5% of the total population (eMarketer, 2019)
  • 65% of smart speaker owners use a voice assistant service while they are cooking. While 37% of mobile voice assistant users access the service while cooking (PWC, 2018)
  • 62% of smart speaker owners use a voice assistant service while they are multitasking. While only 12% of mobile voice assistant users do it for the same purpose, 2018 (PWC, 2018)
  • 29% of smart speaker owners use it while working while only 25% of voice assistant users on mobile do it (PWC, 2018)
  • 40% of mobile assistant users access their voice assistants while driving. Apparently, no smart speaker owner useS it while driving (PWC, 2018)
  • 20% of US consumers used voice search for car navigation (PWC, 2018)
  • 21% of US consumers used voice search from their TV remote (PWC, 2018)
  • Only 14% of US consumers used voice search from their wearables (PWC, 2018)

Voice Search Usage by Tasks

  • 58% of US consumers have used voice search to find business information in the last 12 months (Bright Local, 2018)
  • 32% use voice search daily for something they’d normally type into a search engine, 29% use voice to ask for quick questions daily (PWC, 2018).
  • 35% use voice search to check news and weather daily, 33% use voice search to play music daily, 31% use voice assistants to send texts or emails daily, 16% use voice assistants to control other devices daily, 40% use voice assistants to control other devices every month, and 19% use voice to check traffic or for navigation daily (PWC, 2018).
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Top Reasons for Using Voice Assistants in the US

Top Reasons for Using Voice Assistants in the US
To control other devices monthly: 40

To control other devices monthly

%
Top Reasons for Using Voice Assistants in the US
To check news and weather daily: 35

To check news and weather daily

%
Top Reasons for Using Voice Assistants in the US
To play music daily: 33

To play music daily

%
Top Reasons for Using Voice Assistants in the US
To look up information on search engines: 32

To look up information on search engines

%
Top Reasons for Using Voice Assistants in the US
To send texts or emails daily: 31

To send texts or emails daily

%
Top Reasons for Using Voice Assistants in the US
To ask for quick questions daily: 29

To ask for quick questions daily

%
Top Reasons for Using Voice Assistants in the US
To check traffic or to navigate daily: 19

To check traffic or to navigate daily

%
Top Reasons for Using Voice Assistants in the US
To control other devices daily: 16

To control other devices daily

%

Source: PWC

Designed by

US consumers use voice search mainly as a substitute for manually typing everything. This allows for hands-free interaction and further multitasking. However, a big buzz surrounding voice tech is its use for voice commerce. Thus, it is likely going to be integrated with other eCommerce-related technology such as payment gateway tools among others.

Leading Payment Gateway Software

  1. Stripe. A popular payment gateway that allows users to accept payments via online and mobile apps. Learn how its core features like multicurrency payouts, financial reporting, and mobile customer interface make it easy for you and your clients here in our Stripe review.
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  3. 2Checkout. This platform allows businesses from around the world to create customized payment gateway offerings that fit their needs. Learn more about its other features such as multilingual interfaces, multicurrency support, and its unique customizable checkout options here in our 2Checkout review.
  4. Amazon Payments. This payment gateway is designed for both Amazon shoppers and merchants. See how this platform can help you gain a competitive advantage by being in the top online marketplaces on earth here in our Amazon Payments review.
  5. PayU. Users love this simple and easy-to-use yet very robust platform. Read more about how it is easy to set up, tokenization, express payments, and recurring payment module here in our PayU review.

5. Voice Commerce in the US Statistics

Amazon alone sold 4.6 million smart speaker units, taking 22.1% of the market share in the first quarter of 2019. It almost doubled its shipments in 2018 at 2.5 million in the same quarter. Also, Amazon even had a strong showing in the second quarter with 6.6 million shipments worldwide increasing their global share to 25.4% (Canalys, 2019b). With more devices rolling out with native Alexa already built-in, Amazon-powered voice commerce is poised to surge in the near future. Furthermore, Walmart has partnered with Google to have a voice-based grocery shopping offering. From the shape of things now, voice commerce is soon to gain more traction. Let’s take a look at some voice search data for eCommerce.

General Voice Commerce Statistics

  • 27% of Americans see that interacting through technologies such as voice-based devices will offer the same efficiency as face-to-face encounters. (Pew Research, 2020)
  • Voice shopping in 2017 reached $2 billion. Some estimate it to reach $40 billion in 2022 (OC&C Strategy, 2017)
  • 45% of millennials in the US say they shop using voice search (Voicebot, 2019)
  • 56% of US consumers used voice search on mobile devices to search for local businesses in the last year (Bright Local, 2018)
  • 28% of US consumers used voice search on desktops to search for local companies in the previous year (Bright Local, 2018)
  • Only 13% use voice assistants to add items to shopping lists daily (PWC, 2018)
  • 45% use voice assistants to add items to their shopping lists monthly (PWC, 2018)
  • Only 10% use voice assistants to buy or order something daily (PWC, 2018)
  • 40% use voice assistants to purchase something online monthly (PWC, 2018)
  • 45% of grocery orders were made through Amazon Fresh in 2018 (Cision, 2020)

Consumer Concerns

  • Only 18% of US consumers have used voice search through a smart speaker (Bright Local, 2018)
  • Only 37% of US consumers older than 55 have tried voice search to find information on local businesses (Bright Local, 2018)
  • 42% of US consumers have a great concern for security using voice tech for commerce (eMarketer, 2019)
  • 26% are much concerned about accidentally ordering duplicates (eMarketer, 2019)
  • 31% of users have significant concerns about ordering the wrong brand or item (eMarketer, 2019)
  • Only 12% are not concerned about security or that anyone can order using voice tech (eMarketer, 2019)

Concerns of US Consumers about Voice Commerce

Ecommerce has witnessed a boom, especially in 2016, where 51% of online shoppers purchased using their smartphones  (Pew Research, 2016). With the influx of millennials and Gen Zers in the economy, these digital natives may push voice commerce to new heights. Forecasters are bullish about eCommerce growth, estimating it to reach 3.56 trillion in sales in 2021. These ecommerce statistics point to a bright future. Right now, it seems that voice commerce will be a big part of it.

6. The Future of Voice Search Statistics

Today, the global voice search market share is being disrupted by China. Alibaba’s voice assistant is reportedly better than Google’s (MIT Technology Review, 2018). Its advanced features can detect implicit intent like asking for another delivery address when a customer will not be home during delivery hours. Furthermore, competitor Baidu is claiming that its voice assistant is already on 200 million devices worldwide (Techcrunch, 2019). The global voice search market size will continue to grow because of these new entrants. So, what do experts think will happen in the future, including the likely short- and long-term impact of COVID-19?

  • Around 35% of Americans are using their smart speakers more to listen to news and information because of the pandemic. (NPR, Edison Research, & Statista, 2020)
  • Voice speaker buyers was forecasted to go beyond 25.6 million in 2020. (eMarketer, 2019)
  • East Asian markets, especially China, will fuel this growth (Canalys, 2019)
  • Globally, the smart speaker installed base is expected to grow by 82.4% in 2019 at 207.9 million from 114 million units in the previous year (Canalys, 2019)
  • The US is expected to retain the lead when it comes to adoption having around 42.2% of the global market installed base in 2019 (Canalys, 2019)
  • A 166% growth in the installed base is expected in Mainland China by the end of the year (Canalys, 2019)
  • Japan’s installed base is expected to grow by 131% this year (Canalys, 2019)
  • Smart speaker sales are expected to overtake tablet sales in 2021 (Canalys, 2019)
  • Voice shopping is expected to rise to $40 billion by 2022 from just $2 billion in 2018 (Cision, 2020)
  • Growth in the segment is driven by homes using smart speakers, rising to 55% from 13% in 2018 (Cision, 2020)
  • Consumer spending through voice assistants is predicted to reach 18% by 2022 (Martech Zone, 2018)

Sources: NPR and Edison Research via Statista (2020)

Amazon still holds the biggest share of the global market shares for smart speakers at 25.4%. Also, Baidu has overtaken Google in second place at 17.3%. Advancements in attitudes towards artificial intelligence will also play a part in the future shape of the global smart speaker market. Furthermore, with China’s domestic market being fertile, it will not be surprising if, in the coming years, the top three smart speaker brands will all be Chinese.

Will You be Riding the Wave of Voice Search?

COVID-19 has changed almost everything in this world, including how we leverage technological innovations to ensure safety and prevent the further spread of this deadly virus. Because everyone must stay at home and minimize direct contact with other people, technologies such as voice search devices have been very helpful in helping us to continue doing our jobs and day-to-day routines.

Likewise, the global smart speaker market is also being disrupted by relatively new Chinese entrants. Insiders even claim that their voice assistants are even better than Google’s although primarily deployed in Chinese. However, the domestic market in the US seems to be safe from these new entrants, given the wide cultural gap.

Amazon looks to keep its top position in the near future. This is especially so as its voice search services and products interface well with its core business. It is a prime mover in voice commerce, along with Alexa and Amazon Echo. Google is looking to keep its second place in the domestic market. Also, Google made a deal with Walmart for voice-assisted eCommerce. This could take up some eCommerce market shares from Amazon but, given the state of things, Amazon has not much to worry about.

Moreover, these big moves in the industry worldwide will have a bunch of repercussions. SEO will be affected if, indeed, a strong surge in voice search usage comes about. Industries will have to recalibrate and redesign their company touchpoints to fit their needs. Also, there will likely be a strong demand for better AI. Furthermore, the demand for better ecommerce software that can handle voice search will likely increase. Therefore, businesses have to watch out for such events. It may be better to ride the wave a little early on than to fall behind its curve.

And no, we still wouldn’t be doing away with our keyboards and screens any time soon. However, we may use them a little less.

 

References:

  1. Anderson, M., & Vogels, E. A. (2020, March 31). Americans turn to technology during COVID-19 outbreak, say an outage would be a problem. Pew Research Center.
  2. Barysevich, A. (2020, September 10). How to optimize for voice search: 6 SEO strategies for success. Search Engine Journal.
  3. Campbell, J. (2020, August 10). Will COVID-19 accelerate the adoption of voice technology in public spaces? The Drum.
  4. Canalys: Baidu replaces Google to become number two in smart speaker market in Q2 2019. (2019, August 26). Canalys.
  5. Canalys: Global smart speaker installed base to top 200 million by end of 2019. (2019, April 15). Canalys.
  6. Chatmeter. (2020). Voice search in healthcare. SHSMD.
  7. China overtakes US in fast growing smart speaker market. (2019). Canalys.
  8. The day after: Rethinking business. (2020, July 30). Capgemini.
  9. eMarketer Editors. (2020, February 4). Purchases via smart speakers are not taking off. Insider Intelligence – eMarketer.
  10. Global smart speaker market 2021 forecast. (2020, October 22). Canalys.
  11. GWI Coronavirus research release 3: Multi-market research. (2020, March). GWI.
  12. Hao, K. (2018, December 4). Alibaba already has a voice assistant way better than Google’s. MIT Technology Review.
  13. How voice assistants are changing the way patients search for healthcare. (2019, November 18). Chatmeter.
  14. Karr, D. (2018, January 24). Is voice search on the cusp of transforming commerce? Martech Zone.
  15. Kats, R. (2019, February 3). The uncomfortable state of voice commerce. eMarketer.
  16. Kinsella, B. (2019, January 7). Google assistant to be available on 1 billion devices this month – 10x more than Alexa. Voicebot.ai.
  17. Kinsella, B. T. (2019, March 7). U.S. smart speaker ownership rises 40% in 2018 to 66.4 million and Amazon echo maintains market share lead says new report from Voicebot. Voicebot.ai.
  18. Liao, R. (2019, January 8). China’s Baidu says its answer to Alexa is now on 200M devices. TechCrunch.
  19. Murphy, R. (2018, April 26). Voice search for local businesses study. BrightLocal.
  20. Petrock, V. (2019, August 12). Voice assistant use reaches critical mass. eMarketer.
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  22. PYMNTS. (2020, June 25). How the pandemic is advancing voice commerce. PYMNTS.com.
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  24. Smith, A., & Henderson, M. (2016, December 19). Online shopping and e-Commerce. Pew Research Center.
  25. Srinivasan, P. (2020, December 4). In a touchless world, how will you embrace technology? EY US.
  26. Street Fight. (2020, February 15). How voice ordering will impact restaurants. Grit Daily News.
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  28. Touchless.ai introduces intuitive speech-enabled technology to prevent COVID-19 infection from touchscreens. (2020, September 21). New-TechEurope.
  29. Transmission of SARS-Cov-2: Implications for infection prevention precautions. (2020, July 9). WHO.
  30. Voice shopping set to jump to 40 billion by 2022, rising from 2 billion today. (2020). Cision.
James Anthony

By James Anthony

A senior FinancesOnline writer on SaaS and B2B topics, James Anthony passion is keeping abreast of the industry’s cutting-edge practices (other than writing personal blog posts on why Firefly needs to be renewed). He has written extensively on these two subjects, being a firm believer in SaaS to PaaS migration and how this inevitable transition would impact economies of scale. With reviews and analyses spanning a breadth of topics from software to learning models, James is one of FinancesOnline’s most creative resources on and off the office.

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