Voice Activation

Report: Alexa Is Everywhere, Google Assistant Smarter

Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant Alexa and Google’s Assistant are leading the voice digital speaker market, with competition between the two expected to get even fiercer.

According to a report in CNBC citing five ad agencies who have worked on projects for both Amazon and Google devices for customers, one of the pros of Alexa is that it’s pretty much everywhere. According to the report, roughly two-thirds of U.S. smart speaker enthusiasts will use Amazon Echo, while Google Home has just 30 percent market share. That may have to do with Amazon’s strategy to have Alexa is as many devices as possible instead of just keeping Alexa in its own smart speakers. And even if Alexa voice-activated speakers start to lose market share, Alexa will gain ground via partners, Chris Neff, senior director of innovation at The Community, told CNBC. “The biggest strength of Alexa, of Amazon, is right now the market penetration and their goal of getting Alexa into everything and everywhere,” Neff said.

In the case of Google's Assistant, the sources told CNBC that it has better language processing than Alexa — which will become increasingly important as the voice-activated speakers are capable of doing more and answering more questions.

“Now that I'm able to ask these smart devices recommendations, I would want to ask them to tell me something interesting to me,” Neff said in the report. “We're delving more into it being an assistant and less of it being a transactional device.”

Agencies told CNBC that Alexa has the edge in terms of eCommerce but Google Assistant is better at processing natural language because of its history of being a search engine. It can better understand how people speak and find them the correct answer to their question, noted the report.  Digital agency 360i found that Google Assistant is better at understanding the way people speak. Google also has more experience working with developers than Amazon because it developed Android already. That could help marketers connect with consumers better. Ultimately, the ad agencies told CNBC that the competition is good to grow the market over the long run.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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