Another year of #Voice: How have UK consumers’ habits changed in 2021?

Rozzi Meredith
May 25, 2022
October 16, 2021

We’re happy to announce that our Q4 2021 State of UK Voice report is now available for download. Lets take a look at 5 ways that consumer adoption of Voice Assistants has accelerated since 2020. Our main findings:

“Talking to tech” is an everyday behaviour now

Over 8 in 10 UK consumers have used their voice to interact with some form of digital device in the last month. This figure has increased 10% since February 2021. 

Usage of voice-keyboards on mobile devices has jumped up too. In 2020, 63% of consumers reported using voice-keyboard features on their mobiles but in the space of a year that figure is now 78%. Search and sending voice-notes are the most popular use-cases. 

UK Alexa Voice Stats 2021
Download our report

More voice devices with screens

Did you know that Amazon and Google offer Smart Speakers with screens like the Echo Show and Google Nest Hub?

In 2020, 13% of smart-speaker owners had a mix of speaker-only and screen-based devices. In just a year, that has increased to 20%. However, speaker-only devices still dominate with over 50% of smart-speaker users not having any form of screen.

At the end of 2020, 20% of UK smart-speaker owners owned 3 or more devices. Now, 27% report owning 3 or more smart-speakers; suggesting users are seeing sufficient value in voice-assistants to want easy access to them all around the house.

Voxly Digital UK Voice Stats 2021 Report
Download our report

Daily voice habits have been formed

As consumer investment in voice-activated hardware has increased, so too has frequency of use. The proportion of voice-users who use the technology at least daily has increased over the last year. Now, 42% of voice-users use it at least daily; up from 37% a year before. 

Voxly Digital 2021 UK Voice Report
Download our report

Voice Search & Music remain steady as the core reasons to use voice-assistants 

Music, search, checking weather, traffic and alarms have always been and continue to be the most common reasons users turn to voice-assistants. Users appear to have doubled down on their usage of voice in these areas though; particularly when it comes to voice search. In 2020, 25% of users were searching at least daily via voice and 78% at least weekly. 13% were searching specifically for Product information at least daily. Now, 74% of voice-users use the tech for search at least weekly; and 37% use it for this at least daily: an increase of 12% for daily users in under a year. Product information searches have also increased; with 18% of users asking their voice-assistant questions about products at least daily. 

Voxly Digital 2021 UK Voice Stats Report
Download our report

More remains to be done to prove value of third-party apps to users 

Comparing the 2020 and 2021 reports, you can see a gradual rise in the number of voice-apps that UK voice-users have tried. Whilst in 2020 only 29% of users had tried 3 or more voice-apps, now that figure is closer to 39%.  App directories and friends & family still remain the biggest way for voice-users to discover apps however; suggesting brands could be doing more to signpost their voice experiences to users to help discovery. The native discovery features of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, such as proactive suggestions, don’t appear yet to be a significant method of discovery; although we expect this to change as the platforms work to deliver the more relevant and rich content to their user base. 

Voice App discovery has been increasing slowly amongst UK voice-users

Have a question or looking for more insights? Get in touch or download the full report now.

Who is Voxly Digital?

We connect Brands & Consumers through Conversational AI & Synthetic media.

Stuff changes fast! Over the last 12-24 months NFTs, the Metaverse, Discord, (and crazy Blockchain) continue to make headlines and generate actual consumer interest. What’s our role in all this?

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We are a high-end tech agency that build experiences and apps across advanced conversational interfaces like Digital Avatars, Immersive Metaverse Characters, Voice Assistant’s (Alexa, Google), and good ol Chatbots.

We started out primarily as a Voice Agency, and continue to do lots of work on Alexa and Google Assistant. For example, we run the world’s largest Voice Marketing platform for our retained client Send Me a Sample (check them out people …), plus we have done projects for Joe Wicks (The Body Coach), Acamar Bing, The National Hockey League via Rogers Communications, Spider Man Into the Spider-Verse, the NHS, O2, Penguin Random House, Unilever, Coty, Diageo, Yoplait, Vitality Insurance and loads of other mega brands.

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