How Canadians use voice search with Siri, Alexa, and Google?

Mindshare Canada, the global media agency that is part of WPP, has released a new report about voice search in Canada. Mindshare says voice search has more questions than answers.

The report from Mindshare suggest that Canadians are only scratching the surface of the voice search capabilities – and holding back over fears around the privacy and safety of the devices from Amazon, Google, and Apple.

English and French Canadians use voice technology differently:

  • French Canadians mainly ask Google whereas English Canadians ask Siri;
  • French Canadians have fun with the voice search but English Canadians are practical – setting alarms for example;
  • About 40% of English Canadians use voice tech regularly or occasionally, compared to only a third of French Canadians;
  • Nearly a quarter of French Canadians have no interest in using voice technology in the future;
  • English Canadians utilize voice technology significantly more while driving and at home, compared to French Canadians who utilize it with friends or in the bedroom;
  • English Canadians are more curious to find a local business utilizing search than French Canadians, who prefer to use their technology to gain more information on a product that they’re interested in.

“There are articles emerging everyda telling marketers how to make the most of voice search but our research clearly shows there are some basics that consumers need before we start getting too ambitious with the platform – clearly Canadians have questions that they ask to their iPhone, Alexa and Google Home, but they have big concerns on the value of the experience and the protection of their data.”

Sarah Thompson, CSO, Mindshare Canada.

Voice search market share in Canada

Mindshare findings include the fact that Amazon is everywhere but Alexa isn’t, yet. Amazon’s Alexa has low adoption compared to other voice options in Canada, with only 10.4% of English Canadians and 3.5% of French Canadians having adopted Alexa.

As well as local differences, Canadians’ use of voice technology differs from the rest of the world. Mindshare says Canadians love tasks and questions whereas globally, the world is doing more online searches and checking travel information. Canadians use their voice technology to ask questions and to support activities in managing their home more than the global average and Canadians use their voice technology for an assortment of tasks, most commonly for asking questions, setting alarms, and making calls.

“Voice search is coming. Brands that are considering their audiences first and how they can use this service to answer questions and be helpful will benefit first. It is time to organize your content, frequently asked questions and product information for voice search,” said Thompson.

This study was done as a local extension of the Mindshare Global Speak Easy study that was conducted in 8 markets through a JWT + Mindshare collaboration research piece. Mindshare Canada surveyed 1,001 Canadians over the course of 1 week in November 2018. This survey was conducted in both English and French and met quotas for both languages. Additional parameters were in place for gender, age, and province to exemplify a nationally representative survey.