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Voice search is one of the most rapidly growing ecommerce innovations these days. And as an online business owner, you can’t afford to miss out on it. However, before you begin optimizing your ecommerce business for voice search, there are several essential voice search statistics and data you should be aware of. You’ll need to understand what voice search is, which devices offer search by voice features, where voice search is most popular, and more.

We’ll go over the most critical voice search statistics you’ll need to get your voice search efforts off to a good start. Let’s get into it.

1. Voice Search Popularity in The United States

An increasing number of people in the United States are using voice to conduct searches. Recent reports estimate that currently, half of the US population uses voice search features daily, and more than one-third (34%) uses them at least once a week (UpCity, 2022). 

The majority of voice search users are experienced users of its features, with nearly three out of every four (72 percent) of them having used it for between one to five years. In fact, as many as 16 percent say they’ve been relying on voice search for more than half a decade. 

As we’ll explore in the next few voice search statistics, smartphones and smart speakers are currently the most popular devices among voice search users. But with other gadgets such as watches and wearables, TVs, and home appliances slowly offering voice search features, it may just be a matter of time before they become equally as popular – if not more.

2. Voice Search More Popular Than Typing

Nearly gone are the days of typing in a search query. Approximately seven out of ten consumers (71 percent) prefer to use voice searches to conduct a query over the traditional method of typing (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2018).

Despite more advanced features voice search capabilities offer such as carrying out online purchases or controlling other smart home gadgets, its most popular usages remain restricted to more basic features. Conducting basic queries and information requests aside, users like to use voice searches to do basic tasks like check on the weather, play music, and set reminders.

But given the potential and benefits of voice search, it’s no wonder that it’s growing in popularity. This is particularly noteworthy for the disabled community and the visually impaired, who have benefitted from voice search as it allows them to bypass the inconvenient text-based functions. 

3. Smart Speakers Ownership in The US

As of 2022, more than one in three (35 percent) US consumers possessed smart speakers (Statista, 2022). This marked a two percentage point annual increase and 11 percentage points over 2020, an indication of the growing popularity of these devices.

Recent data also shows that tech giants Amazon, Google, and Apple dominate the smart speaker market share in the US. With 94.2 million of its smart speakers in use, Amazon leads its competitors by a significant margin. 

Read Also: How Does Voice Commerce Work?

In comparison, 46.7 million people in the US own smart speakers by Google, which is fewer than half of Amazon. Statistics show, however, that the popularity of Google’s smart speakers has been rising quickly in recent years. Their sales grew a whopping 234 percent from 2019 to 2021. That being said, we can probably expect to see the gap between Amazon and Google narrow in the near future. 

In third place, Apple’s smart speakers are owned by 10.8 million consumers in the US.

4. Smart Speakers Usage in The US

Ownership of smart speakers is on the rise, but so is voice search usage with smart speakers. 52 percent of all smart speaker owners use their devices daily (NPR, 2018). Over one-third use it to carry out voice searches.

Given the increasing use and popularity of smart speakers, if you happen to run an ecommerce business selling tech gadgets, consider amping up your marketing efforts around November. The period between Black Friday and the end of the year is proving to be a particularly popular time for purchases of smart speakers – eight percent of the US population bought a smart speaker during this period in 2018.

And depending on your target market, you may want to prioritize one brand over another. Just so you have an idea, Amazon currently holds about 70 percent of the smart speaker market share within the US, far outperforming its main rivals, Google Home and Apple’s HomePod. 

5. Smart Speakers Usage for Shopping

The rising ownership of smart speakers coupled with increasing ecommerce growth mean more and more people have started to turn to their smart speakers to shop online.

In fact, the latest research figures show that as many as 33.2 million consumers in the US were expected to shop using the voice search feature on their smart speakers in 2022 (eMarketer, 2020). To put things in perspective, this would represent a 3.5 percent growth from 2021’s 32.1 million and 14.1 percent of the total number of digital shoppers in the US. 

If you’re thinking about targeting consumers using smart speakers to shop, it’s important to know what they’re buying via voice.

Most purchases made via voice are for health and beauty products. In the period from August 2019 to August 2021, analysts estimate that as many as 8.9 million health and beauty products were bought via smart speakers. This is followed by the electronics category, which saw 8.8 million purchases.

Household supplies have also proven to be particularly popular items to be bought using smart speakers. Some 8.5 million household products were bought using voice during this period.

6. Role of Voice Search in Buyers’ Purchase Journey

With more and more people opting to shop via voice search, it’s important to understand at which stage of the purchase funnel their dependence on voice search is the highest.

Survey results show that online shoppers use voice assistants more extensively in the pre-checkout stages than for checking out – particularly in product research and addition to shopping lists. More than half of all online shoppers in the US use voice assistants to help them research products, while over a third use them to add new items to their shopping lists (Narvar, 2018). 

But it doesn’t just end there. Voice assistants continue to feature in the post-checkout stages, with 30 percent of online shoppers using it to track their packages, 20 percent leaving reviews or ratings, and 17 percent using voice search to repurchase items.  

Considering the above-mentioned voice search statistics on shopping, as an ecommerce owner, you may want to consider optimizing your site for voice search!

Whether you’re interested in optimizing your ecommerce page or boosting the sales and marketing strategy of your tech ecommerce store, these voice search stats will certainly come in handy to help understand the direction that ecommerce and mobile ecommerce are heading towards.

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