It won’t be long before voice assistants like the Amazon Echo or Google Home start taking people out of physical stores.
In fact, it could take as little as three years, if a new study is to be believed.
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Capgemini, a global consultancy, issued a report last week that looks at the place that voice assistants could soon occupy in retail, and how they could change the way that consumers interact with salespeople.
Amazon’s Echo is a device that carries Alexa, the company’s voice assistant service.
Meanwhile, Google Home is a “smart speaker” that’s powered by Google Assistant, the company’s own voice system.
The study found that, within three years, 31 per cent of respondents will prefer to use voice assistants like these than go to a store or bank branch in person.
That’s up from 20 per cent who would do that today.
Meanwhile, 40 per cent of respondents said they would use a voice assistant over an app or a website in three years, while 24 per cent said they would do that now.
The idea of doing your banking using a voice assistant brings up all kinds of issues regarding privacy.
But Mark Taylor, Capgemini’s chief experience officer, said private companies are showing an “increasing awareness” around data protection.
“There’s an increasing pressure on the part of governments in terms of data privacy,” he said.
“There’s also a willingness on the part of consumers to trade off some part of privacy against some part of convenience, and that will only happen with brands that consumers trust.”
Previous Capgemini surveys have shown that privacy was the number one concern for consumers, though it appears times have changed.
You can buy an Amazon Echo for $130, while Google Home costs about $180.
Methodology: Capgemini Converstaional Commerce Survey, October to November 2017, about 5,041 customers in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany.
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