Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered voice assistants are rapidly integrating into our everyday lives. They read us the news, aid online shopping, and allow us to interact seamlessly with various brands. With the rising prevalence of these digital helpers, researchers are delving into the factors affecting user engagement with these technologies.

The popularity of voice assistants continues to surge, with predictions suggesting over 8.4 billion units will be active worldwide by 2024, according to Statista. Understanding the drivers and potential barriers affecting consumer interaction with voice assistants is now more critical than ever for marketing professionals.

Deciphering the Voice Assistant Terminology

In the world of AI-enabled services, the lines between voice assistants, chatbots, and intelligent speakers often blur. Chatbots work within text-based interfaces, employing natural language processing to mimic human conversation. Intelligent speakers are devices with built-in voice assistant abilities that enable control over services and devices via voice commands. Voice assistants are primarily centered on voice-based interactions, understanding and responding to spoken commands.

The Role of Privacy Concerns

While voice assistants can be an asset, concerns have been raised over the handling of voice data by these devices and the organizations managing them. Studies indicate that privacy risks and concerns may deter users from adopting voice assistant technology. Therefore, understanding the elements that both stimulate and hinder voice assistant usage is crucial for formulating marketing strategies.

The Influence of Behavioral Reasoning Theory and Technology Acceptance Model

When exploring the drivers affecting voice assistant usage, two theories – the Behavioral Reasoning Theory (BRT) and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) – stand out. BRT suggests that individuals’ values and beliefs precede the formation of attitudes and behaviors, which are key determinants of consumer decision-making. On the other hand, TAM emphasizes two key factors: perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use.

The Crucial Factors Driving Voice Assistant Usage

Research shows that privacy concerns, trust, and perceived usefulness of the technology are significant drivers of attitudes towards voice assistants. These attitudes then impact users’ willingness to share personal information and their overall engagement with the technology. Marketers can leverage these findings by creating strategies that address privacy concerns, build trust, and demonstrate the usefulness of voice assistants.

Understanding the Role of Habit

Interestingly, habits play a vital role in consumer engagement with voice assistants. Activities like using a web browser for everyday tasks such as eating, drinking, and commuting have become integral parts of users’ daily routines. The frequency and repetition of these actions provide an ideal environment for habit formation. This study highlights the moderating role of habit in understanding the relationship between consumer attitude towards voice assistants, willingness to provide privacy information, and engagement with voice assistants.

The Road Ahead

Given the escalating usage of voice assistants, the industry needs to address the barriers affecting consumer engagement with this technology. One strategy is to turn privacy concerns into a competitive advantage by emphasizing the high-level privacy protection offered by voice assistants. Furthermore, by enhancing trust, perceived ease of use, and perceived usefulness, marketers can foster a more positive attitude towards this technology, ultimately leading to increased adoption and user satisfaction.

In conclusion, as AI-powered voice assistants become increasingly common, understanding consumer engagement with this technology becomes imperative for marketing professionals. By addressing privacy concerns, building trust, and demonstrating utility, marketers can better strategize and craft offerings that meet consumer needs and encourage further adoption of this innovative technology.

This research adds a valuable perspective to the growing body of literature on voice assistant usage, providing insights that are valuable not only for marketers and businesses in the technology space but also for consumers navigating the world of AI-powered technologies.


To read the full article visit: Acikgoz, F., Perez Vega, R., Okumus, F., & Sylos, N. (2023). Consumer Engagement with AI-powered Voice Assistants: A Behavioral Reasoning Perspective. Psychology & Marketing.

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