Selligent consumer study finds 69% find voice assistants ‘creepy’


Global B2C marketing automation company, Selligent, has issued the results of a global study of 5,000 consumers focused on behaviors and expectations as it relates to interactions with brands. Sixty-nine percent of surveyed consumers find it “creepy” when they receive ads based on unprompted cues from voice assistants like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. Fifty-one percent are worried that voice assistants are listening to conversations without their consent. The younger the consumer, the more inclined they are to believe they are being listened to without their knowledge: 58% for Gen-Z (ages 18-24) and only 36 percent for Baby Boomers (ages 55-75) agree.

While privacy concerns are on the rise, the study shows consumers are adjusting their behavior in different ways:

  • Nearly half of global respondents (45%) use voice assistants despite the ‘creepy’ factor
  • 41% agreed that they have reduced use of social media due to privacy concerns while a majority (59%) have not
  • One-third (32%) of consumers have quit at least one social media platform within the last 12 months due to privacy concerns – with Facebook at the top of the “quit list” at 40%.

The survey also revealed that 51% of consumers are still willing to share personal data for a more personalized experience. For brands, this means a greater focus on delivering truly relevant, omnichannel experiences that bring value to consumers at the right moment. Additional survey findings:

  • High expectations for connected customer experiences: expected customer service response timeframes are shortening as 96 percent of people expect brands to respond within 24 hours of a flagged issue, and 90% also expect a resolution to come within 24 hours. Additionally, 71% expect brands to have all the information about them during an escalated brand interaction, highlighting the need for a full 360-view of the customer.
  • Omnichannel experiences reign: 64% of pollsters take advantage of merging online and in-store shopping experiences for big-ticket purchases (personal electronics, appliances and vacations), preferring to research online but go in-store to purchase. However, consumers still expect brands to assist and give recommendations in-store: 50% of consumers agree.
  • Relevance is king: 64% of those polled are aware that their online activity is being tracked but welcome proactive product recommendations based on previous purchases. Forty-seven percent find it ‘nice/helpful’ when they’re served ads based on what they have asked their voice assistants.

“Building consumer trust and long-term loyalty is the holy grail for any marketer,” said Niki Hall, CMO at Selligent. “Consumers today are more connected than ever; they expect a level of personalization in their brand interactions and want everything in an instant. But because they are also wary of their data being used in ways they may not agree with, brands need to develop a strategy that strikes a relevancy balance – articulating personalized consumer value without being intrusive. To successfully do this, businesses need an intelligent platform that provides a complete view of the customer. Having full visibility across all consumer touchpoints will enable brands to deliver an elevated customer experience and drive lasting value.”