The first mainstream solution in voice search came with Siri’s development and presentation, Apple’s popular voice assistant app. Its success has initiated a stream of changes and progress in voice technology, as Apple’s rivals sought to put out competitive, high-quality apps of their own.
Voice search statistics started to show spikes in usage when Amazon released Alexa in 2014. Six years later, their smart speaker Echo is projected to find its way into over 55% of households in the US by 2022.
We looked at the latest statistics, analyzed the latest data, and compared how the tech giants play their cards on the market in 2020.
- Fewer than 20% of consumers use voice search more than five times per week.
- 36% of the smart speaker owners say they have been using their devices more for entertainment in 2020.
- Siri was the first smartphone voice assistant introduced to the world.
- Amazon Echo is wildly popular among the 18–29 age group.
- Estimations show that a total of 65 million Amazon Echo devices will be shipped in 2021.
- 16% of UK smart speaker owners make purchases through their devices.
- The total number of voice-assisted devices in the US will reach 870 million in 2022.
Voice search is gaining traction around the world. We’ve been hearing that voice search technology is the future, but how true is that?
1. 91% of the voice search answers come from Google’s top five results.
Voice Search SEO figures for 2021 show that it’s crucial for the pages to rank high in order to be provided as answers to users’ queries.
It’s also important to note that shorter answers tend to work better—the best responses have an average word count of 29.
2. 94% of voice search users consider it beneficial to their everyday life.
Nearly all users find it simple to navigate their smartphones and other devices with a voice command.
According to the survey Adobe conducted on 1,000 voice technology users in the US—85% of people used voice commands on their smartphone, while 39% utilized smart speaker, statistics show.
3. Around 34% of consumers use voice commands while driving.
Higher Visibility study also indicated that 29% of consumers used voice commands because they find it a more natural way to navigate their devices.
Another 22% disclosed that their use of voice search was due to not being able to look at their phone.
4. Despite the voice search growth, fewer than 20% of consumers use voice search more than five times per week.
According to the newest Google voice search usage statistics, 56% of all survey respondents said they use voice search less than two times a week, with the majority of those reporting they never use it.
The same study indicates that less than 10% of consumers use voice search 10-13 times a week, per customer experience statistics.
5. Smartphones are the most popular device when it comes to browsing for local businesses via voice technology.
Around 56% of voice technology users have tried to look for a local business through their smartphones, as specified by voice search trends. A 28% portion of consumers have done so over their desktop or laptop.
The smallest percentage of customers used smart speaker devices—only 18%, compared to 26% of tablets’ searches.
6. Nearly 90 million Americans own a smart speaker.
With the 87.7 million people in the US, this makes for an incredible 34.4% of the entire population, statistics on voice search growth rates.
As over 20 million added users since 2019, the consumer base has grown by 32%—while admirable, it’s a lower growth compared to the 40% in the period of 2018–2019.
7. Over 60% of the people use voice search in the comfort of their home.
The majority of the surveyed users revealed that they are most comfortable using it at home alone. The usage declines with the intimacy or comfort level of the environment.
Some of the more curious voice-activated search statistics indicated that 27.8% and 26.1% of people used it in a public restroom and a theatre.
8. 25% of people shop for everyday household items via voice commands.
Apparel and entertainment products and services came out in second place, with 21.15% of voice search users buying in each category.
Trends in voice search indicate that 23.35% still aren’t comfortable disclosing their payment information to voice assistants.
9. 18.3 million Americans made at least one purchase through their smart speakers in 2019.
Statistics indicate that voice search technology is consistently increasing, and so are purchases made through it.
The number is projected to have grown to 21.6 million in 2020. When it comes to the current year, it’s predicted that at least 23.5 million purchases will be made in 2021 in the US alone.
10. Voice-activated search statistics show that more than half of the users try to find local restaurants and cafes through this technology.
Here’s the breakdown of the most-searched-for local businesses:
- Restaurants / Cafés (51% of consumers use voice command to search for establishments)
- Grocery stores (41%)
- Food delivery (35%)
- Clothing stores (32%)
- Hotels / Bed & Breakfasts (30%)
Like many other industries, technology has been affected by the pandemic. But unlike every other industry, it’s not all bad news—people turned to voice search, in particular, more than ever before.
11. 22% of the adults in the US use voice assistants on their smartphones at least once a week.
Trends in voice search indicate this is a 5% growth compared to the last pre-pandemic figures when the statistics showed that 17% of adult Americans use their voice assistants once a week.
Another 21% reported using the voice commands nearly every day—a 3% growth YoY since spring 2019.
12. 36% of the smart speaker owners say they have been using their devices more for entertainment in 2020, voice search stats show.
Or rather—since the pandemic outbreak.
When it comes to age demographics, 52% of users 25–34 years old in the US claim they’ve been consuming music and other forms of entertainment through their home speakers.
When it comes to news and media, 35% of the adults in the US get their information by listening via their smart speakers.
13. One of the most interesting voice search facts is that 52% of voice assistant consumers use the technology several times a day since the outbreak.
This increase in voice technology usage has been a direct result of the pandemic, as previously 46% of users engaged in daily consumption prior to the outbreak.
This is unsurprising, as people spent almost all of their days at home, which is where they feel most comfortable using voice search.
Have you ever wondered when voice technology showed its first advancements? Read on for a brief history trip into the beginnings of what we now call the future.
14. IBM Shoebox introduced the first speech recognition tool in 1961.
The first digital speech recognition tool had only 16 words and nine digits to work with.
While it wasn’t nearly as useful as speaker devices and voice search assistants in 2021, it laid the foundation on which Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa were developed.
15. Siri was the first smartphone voice assistant introduced to the world.
Fifty years after IBM introduced its speech recognition tool, in October 2011, Apple revealed their virtual assistant and marked one of the most significant moments in voice technology.
According to Siri statistics, some of the actual progress the app has made was increasing word accuracy from 60–80% to over 90%.
The development of Siri meant popularization and normalization of voice search usage, which inevitably created intense competition on the market in the years to come.
16. Google Assistant was the last VA to join the market.
After being introduced in 2016, it didn’t take a lot of time for Google Assistant to attract customers.
In 2017, the app was installed on more than 400 million devices worldwide, and today it holds much of the market, along with Amazon’s Alexa.
Voice assistants are gaining more and more popularity in recent years, and with the growth of voice search, the upward trend is expected to continue.
17. Over one-third of the voice assistant market share for smartphones belongs to Apple’s Siri.
How many people use Siri? Even though Alexa and Google Assistant are viewed as superior voice assistants, Siri dominates the market with a 35% share.
One of the possible reasons for this dominant position is the fact that Siri is the first phone assistant to be developed, therefore holding more familiarity among users.
18. Alexa has a 31.7% market share among global voice assistants.
These are the latest available numbers—however, it’s not unrealistic to assume there have been changes.
Google Assistant was very close with figures, as its market share was only 0.3% lower than Alexa’s.
19. Amazon Echo is wildly popular among the 18–29 age group.
As Alexa’s popularity soared, so did the purchases by young adults. The 18–29 year-olds have a staggering ownership rate of 24% in the US.
Amazon Echo demographics show a drop in numbers when it comes to older consumers—barely 10% of those aged 55–64 own the device.
20. Estimations show that a total of 65 million Amazon Echo devices will be shipped in 2021.
Amazon Echo sales figures indicate that the sales will double by 2025—it’s projected that 130 million devices will be sold that year worldwide.
The sales are projected to increase consistently over the 2014–2025 decade, as the sales reached 0.6 million in the first year of tracking.
21. Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant currently hold 70% of the activity in voice technology.
Although voice search stats show that Amazon and Google occupy an overwhelming majority of the market, there are numerous rumors and predictions of their decline—mostly due to the rising competition.
While these predictions have been around for some time, the two tech companies only seem to widen the gap. Additionally, the lion’s share of industry growth is focused on the big two.
Americans enjoy technology advancements, but how interested is the rest of the world in voice search? These worldwide statistics can offer some insight.
22. 58% of consumers used voice search to find information about local businesses.
Around 46% of voice search users disclosed that they look for local businesses every day. But these numbers could soon become higher, as 25% of consumers revealed they never tried to search the local stores, but are willing to give it a try.
23. 16% of UK smart speaker owners make purchases through their devices.
According to voice search statistics available in 2021, UK smart speaker owners are more likely to make a purchase using the device.
Experts expect that the voice shopping market in the United Kingdom will reach $5 billion by 2022.
24. Voice search grew by 270% in India.
As indicated by voice search statistics, India has seen an incredible growth year-on-year, reaching a staggering 270%.
Rising to this occasion, brands in India have also ensured that they adapt and optimize their apps for voice-activated search.
25. 57% of Australians occasionally use voice search.
Voice search statistics for Australia signal a promising future. The high percentage of users pushes marketers to rethink their strategies and change how they optimize websites for voice-commanded search.
Most Australians choose to use voice browsing because it’s convenient in their day-to-day lives.
Finally, let’s take a look at how the figures look for the next few years when it comes to voice tech industry growth.
26. The total number of voice-assisted devices in the US will reach 870 million in 2022.
In terms of growth, this is a 95% increase in only five years compared to 450 million of such devices in 2017, making it a 95% climb in just five years.
Besides, voice technology trends indicate that voice-enabled smart speakers will be present in over half of US households, reaching an astonishing 175 million devices.
27. Over 60% of users want more direct answers from their VAs.
Well over half of the people reported they’d like to receive less broad answers from the assistant in 2017 when asked what trends in voice search or novelties they’d like to see in the future.
In 2020, the same request seems to be still present, along with a customized voice feature, but both are behind increased app integration and support for other languages.
28. Google Home sales numbers are projected to reach 140 million in 2025.
The figures are expected to reach 50 million by the end of 2021.
This means that the sales might almost triple over the next four years, Google Home statistics show. This is a remarkable feat—however, it’s not all that surprising, considering the already exponential growth over the last five years.
After looking at the latest voice search trends in 2021, developments of the last several years of the industry clearly show a rise in popularity. The trio Amazon-Apple-Google currently holds close to a monopoly on the market as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant find their way into more and more devices every day.
As voice search marketing statistics imply the inevitability of change in the way search engines act, it is more vital than ever to step up when it comes to digital advertising.
A few years back, only an insignificant fraction of smartphone users utilized voice commands when browsing online. These days, the percentage isn’t that inconsequential, especially for marketers and advertisers, as more than 20% of all searches are voice, as pointed out among the voice search statistics earlier.
The three most popular apps are Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. A recent survey showed Google Assistant to be superior when it comes to providing correct answers: it had a score of 92.9% right answers, with Siri and Alexa having 83.1% and 79.8%, respectively.
Amazon’s Alexa has been getting immensely popular over the years. The level of integration with household devices it has is unmatched at the moment. The only problem is that its Android app is somewhat restricted, so purchasing Amazon Echo is the only way to enjoy its full potential.
Google voice search statistics show that Google Assistant is the unbeatable choice when it comes to Android devices. It has a range of useful features that let the user activate everything from a music app to your kitchen lights.
With many similar features, Siri was the first voice assistant ever developed. Besides running online searches, Siri can help you set reminders, make calls, send texts, and even book a hotel room. However, it is exclusive to Apple devices.
Figures for 2020 have been predicting that around 50% of all searches will be done by voice last year. While this number is probably somewhat lower, the growing market penetration and increasing popularity paint a bright picture for this search industry branch.
When it comes to age groups that use voice command technology, people in the 25–34 age group were most likely to choose this way to search for information, while the group over 45 years old was the least likely to use it.
Now let’s talk about gender distribution: statistics on voice search imply a curious disparity between women and men. Men are likely to use it in a plethora of different circumstances; at home, at the office, in a restaurant, even in theatres. On the other hand, women are a lot shyer about using voice commands in public, and they are the most comfortable using it at home alone or with friends. In total, men are 1.72 times more likely to use this technology than women.
If we look at the differences in annual income, the more people earn, the more likely they are to use voice commands on their smartphones, according to mobile voice search statistics in 2020. People who make $100,000+ per year make up 43.4% of all voice search users.
There are plenty of benefits to using voice search over any other manner of browsing. For one, it’s a lot faster than your standard searching method. When it comes to smartphone use, voice search technology statistics show that 52% of surveyed use voice search while driving because it’s more convenient.
One percent less indicated they make phone calls using voice commands. Other popular voice inquiries include checking the weather and playing music, each reportedly being used by 49% of consumers.
Having a (free) personal Google account is the only requirement for successful use of any of the Google Home devices.
When it comes to the monthly cost, Google Home devices don’t have one. You purchase your device, set up / connect to your account, and you are ready to go.
This technology proved itself to be very tricky to predict. Even so, voice search technology’s growth is undeniable, especially knowing that it is projected that over 5 billion voice assistants will be installed on devices around the world by 2022.
It is also expected that advertising will bring in the most significant revenue for voice assistants, as global ad spending is expected to reach $19 billion worldwide, as shown by voice search statistics.