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The overwhelming majority of organizations see voice-enabled experiences as important (67% “very important”, 27% “somewhat important”) for their customers, according to a study by Adobe and Advanis, which also found that 9 in 10 already have resources in place for voice.

The report details plenty of optimism around voice: close to two-thirds strongly agree that voice-enabled experiences will drive conversion / increase revenue (66%), increase consumer engagement (65%) and increase consumer loyalty (64%).

This overwhelming positivity comes amid rapid growth of smart speaker ownership, along with near ubiquitous smartphone ownership across generational groups. But with this emerging technology, how are businesses planning to measure performance?

Top of the list among preferred metrics is the number of returning users (42%), along with the closely-related measure of engagement (40%). Revenue / conversion (39%) also comes high on the list, as well as metrics related to user experience, such as success & error rates (36%), session length (28%), session frequency (28%) and user fallout (22%), among others.

What is also clear from the data is that voice can be used by both consumers and organizations in a variety of different ways. Here are some other headline findings from the study.

Organizations See Voice Interaction Methods Opening Up For Consumers

Organizations are beginning to put into place various ways for consumers to interact with their brands through voice – although the percentage of companies offering these voice interactions still trails the share offering them via web and mobile.

Most commonly, roughly one-third said consumers can use their voices to get general info (34%) and search (32%). For more transactional activities, slightly fewer have experiences in place for consumers to make a new purchase (29%), renew/refill an order (31%) and track orders (29%).

On the note of e-commerce, separate research shows that retailers see voice ordering as more of an opportunity than a threat.

That being said, there have been concerns raised about voice’s impact on brand loyalty. But Adobe’s figures suggest there may be a silver lining in this regard – for some organizations consumers can use voice to check rewards status and for promotions and coupons.

There’s No Single Voice Interaction Priority

The diversity of ways in which voice can be used also means there is not a clear priority when it comes to what voice-enabled experiences to offer. Of the 9 interaction types listed, 5 had at least 4 in 10 citing them as a priority, with the top two (making a new purchase or tracking orders) both chosen by 45% of respondents.

That being said, the method of delivery skews highly towards mobile. Some 7 in 10 (71%) organizations said that mobile apps featured in their voice-enabled strategy, compared to 46% for Internet of Things and 43% for smart home technology.

The Majority of Companies Plan to Serve Multiple Platforms

Almost 9 in 10 (89%) of organizations surveyed agreed that it was likely their company will develop technology for multiple voice services, but in reality the list of options is quite small.

Pegged closely together are Amazon Alexa (63%) and Google Assistant (62%) in terms of platforms for which organizations are developing voice experiences. Following this are Apple’s Siri (39%), Microsoft’s Cortana (30%) and Bixby (16%). Beyond this there is little activity – just 1% of respondents said they are developing for other platforms.

Organizational Buy-In Is the Biggest Barrier For Voice Apps

When it comes to developing voice-enabled apps, the most commonly cited barrier is getting buy-in from other areas of the organization (39%). Other obstacles include a lack of available investment dollars (29%) and time to develop voice (also 29%).

Another concern is an inability to measure the ROI of voice, with leaders within the organization more likely to cite this factor (31%) than the practitioners working with them (18%).

The full study with further analysis can be viewed online here.

About the Data: Figures are based on a survey of 400 organizations, conducted in March 2019.

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