Note: an overview of all results can be found in our Smart Speaker research
Smart Speakers are the latest, fast-growing trend in the tech world. One in five US consumers already has a Smart Speaker, making the Smart Speakers’ consumer adoption faster than that of the Smartphone. Research also shows that consumers use the Smart Speakers for things like asking questions, listen to the radio/music, check the weather, and to use the alarm/ timer/ calendar functions.
What are Smart Speakers?
Smart speakers are single-unit wireless speakers, that have artificial intelligence (AI) built into them. They come with voice-controlled personal assistants, the most popular being Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Apple’s Siri is the brains behind the HomePod speaker.
We interviewed 558 consumers in an online survey, using the Sewmedia consumer panel (1,192 representative Dutch Consumers). Apart from questions about what they thought of Smart Speakers, we asked them which
The research was conducted in March and April of 2018 and Data were weighted back to Dutch population (gender/ age) characteristics to get the results
Awaiting their official market introduction, we found it was time to look at what Dutch consumers currently think of smart speakers: how open are they to the concept, are they willing to buy it and what do they expect from the smart speakers. We also looked at which brands consumers prefer and if they would be willing to pay for it.
#1: Dutch Consumers are complete enthusiasts about Smart Speakers
We showed them a set of Smart Speakers, described what they do and directly asked for their feedback. Almost three quarters of consumers are (very) enthusiast about Smart Speakers. This can be considered high as most consumers haven't had any actual experience with Smart Speakers yet. a High likeability is an important factor when launching new products and could mean Smart Speakers will be adopted quickly by Dutch consumers after their introduction.
# 2: Dutch Consumers believe Smart Speakers are useful
Apart from feeling positive, we asked them for a reaction on a more rational level: to what extent they would think about their usefulness. Again most people would agree they are useful and think they have an added value.
# 3: Consumers of all ages want one
Mostly when a new piece of Tech is introduced, young consumers are the ones who are interested and willing to buy it. Although the youngest of consumers (under 25) indicate they are most likely to buy Smart Speakers (if they could afford them), consumers of all ages seem interested in buying.
This makes sense: as most other tech would require getting acquainted to it and learning how to use it, the case of using your voice to control things as well as the benefits of doing so are easy to understand for anyone.
#4: Consumers are willing to buy them
When asked, almost half of the consumers think it's very likely that they'll buy one.
Although the accuracy of the outcomes asking a hypothetical question like this is very low, it is again a confirmation that there is a great group of consumers who are potentially interested in it.
#5: There is Smart Speaker for everyone
Despite of the low brand awareness of Amazon and their voice services, consumers have an almost equal preference for all three brands (with only a slight preference for the Google Home).
The Amazon, Google Home and Apple Speakers are preferred by different type of consumers for different reasons. For example: design plays a bigger role when choosing the Amazon Echo, young consumers prefer the Google Home and Apple is chosen more often for the expected quality of the sound. It shows that the various Smart Speakers will be used by different kinds of consumers (for different reasons) and that the will be adopted by a broad audience.
Although most signs are positive for a quick adoption, for many consumers privacy is an issue: 6 out of 10 consumers indicate that Smart Speakers could potentially threat privacy.
Our study shows that market potential is big and that Smart Speakers could become a succes. Smart Speakers have all the momentum now. Whether they will really become a hit will depend on manufacturers' market entry strategy. It is clear that to be successful, they will need to develop a voice assistant that speaks Dutch and that enough skills will need to be available on their platforms.
An oversight of all the results from our study can be found in our Smart Speaker Research