What makes voice assistants creepy?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of articles from MarketingCharts, which provides up-to-the-minute data and research to marketers.
Almost half (45 percent) of 5,000 consumers in Europe and North America surveyed by Selligent Marketing Cloud say they use voice assistants such as Amazon.com’s Alexa or Google Home. Yet with increased use, concerns are growing.
More than half (52 percent) find it creepy when brands target them with ads based on what they have recently asked their voice assistant. An even larger portion (69 percent) think it’s creepy when a brand targets them for ads based on what they have said in conversations without prompting the voice assistant device. In both cases, only minorities felt these were helpful rather than creepy targeting practices.
About half (51 percent) of respondents worry their voice assistants are listening to them without their consent. Younger adults (58 percent of 18-24-year-olds and 57 percent of 25-35-year-olds) tend to be more suspicious of voice assistants listening in uninvited. And although about half (48 percent) of Gen Xers (36-54-year-olds) have concerns about their voice assistants, eavesdropping only concerns slightly more than one-third (36 percent) of Boomers.
That being said, 80 percent of both Gen Zers and Millennials and 70 percent of Gen Xers say that a personalized experience is very important. Fifty-two percent of Boomers think so.
Respondents in all age groups feel that it’s helpful when brands do personalize in some ways, such as:
- Offering deals on items they have searched for but not purchased (64 percent);
- Proactively recommending products based on previous purchases (64 percent);
- Inquiring about how they liked their last purchase (71 percent);
- Targeting ads based on what they have recently liked/favorited/saved/retweeted on social media (53 percent).
RichRelevance’s 4th annual “Creepy or Cool” survey that came out in May also found concerns about voice assistants.
More respondents found it creepy (41 percent) than cool (32 percent) that voice assistants provide personalized product information and suggested products for them and their family. Related to voice assistants’ promise, significantly more respondents found it creepy (69 percent) than cool (14 percent) that companies understand their shopping habits so well that they’re able to use artificial intelligence to choose and automatically order products on their behalf.
- What Makes Smart Speakers and Voice Assistants Creepy? – Marketing Charts
- Selligent Global Connected Consumer Index – Selligent
- Consumers Remain Wary of Advanced Retail Personalization, Though Some Attitudes Are Evolving – MarketingCharts
- Creepy Or Cool 2018: Richrelevance Study Finds 80% Of Consumers Demand Artificial Intelligence (Ai) Transparency – RichRelevance
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is there a way for voice commerce to overcome privacy concerns raised by consumers? What are the most useful ways to personalize without exceeding the creepiness threshold?