While the US leads the virtual assistant crusade, current users in the UK and Americas agree they would recommend the product to their friends, according to a new study commissioned by M&M Global.
Two thousand consumers in the US and UK were surveyed by Toluna about their opinions on virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Smart Home.
While 47% in the US already had virtual assistants, in the UK 62% of respondents said they did not own one – and had no plans to purchase one.
However, amongst those who currently use the technology, the US and UK groups were largely in sync. Most respondents in both regions agreed that they mainly use their assistants for shopping and price comparisons, checking weather and news or tuning on music.
The majority of users said they now read and watch traditional media channels less (61% of US users and 40% in the UK) while 89% of US respondents said they would recommend the tech to friends and family, compared to 66% in the UK.
However, the demographics diverged on how the virtual assistant impacted shopping behaviour, with over 52% of US users saying they make fewer in-store purchases but a majority of 32% of UK users saying it had had no effect on shopping behaviour.
Those who did not currently own such assistants agreed they would mostly use the tech to check weather and news and answer questions. However, they agreed that the main barrier preventing purchase was the cost. Another concern was whether they need or would use the tech, and security was also a key worry in both markets.
The US respondents were much more worried with 37% responding as ‘very concerned’ about security compared to a 35% apathetic majority in the UK responding ‘neither concerned, nor unconcerned’.
The bulk of UK respondents also felt ‘neither concerned nor unconcerned’ about misusing the virtual assistant to, for example, order products unintentionally. However, 29% of more paranoid US respondents said they were ‘very concerned’.