mart speakers are now used by more than 60 million U.S. adults with a 40% annual growth rate and there are twice as many monthly active users of voice assistants on smartphones. The adoption rate of voice is actually faster in many countries that have more recently gained access to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Voice assistants quickly transitioned from a novelty to a robust and active consumer engagement channel.
A lot of planning goes into designing and building Alexa skills and Google Actions. And, there may be detailed plans about the launch and how to drive initial consumer interest. However, we have seen few people give much thought to what happens next. At XAPP, we believe that Launch is Day One of your voice app lifecycle.
Some brands and agencies will tell us they are considering whether now is the right time to launch an Alexa skill. Our experience with clients ranging from the top automakers and consumer brands to retailers and media broadcasters is that having an Alexa skill now is essential to winning in the voice era. Here are eight reasons why brands, media companies, and even government agencies should launch an Alexa skill now.
“When it comes to voice search, you go first position or you go home because beyond the first or second place there is no future," commented Sebastien Szczepaniak, a former Amazon executive who now heads e-commerce for Nestlé SA. He has particular insights into the challenges given his background with the world’s largest online marketplace that also is the global market share leader in the voice assistant segment.
There is a new report by OC&C that reveals voice commerce reached nearly $2 billion in the U.S. in 2017. More surprising to some is that it is projected to reach $40 billion in the next five years. That is an 86% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). And, it's not just a U.S. phenomenon. In the U.K. voice shopping is expected to climb from just $200 million to $5 billion in that same period.