Speech assistants are booming: Intelligent speakers from Amazon, Google and other providers are becoming more and more frequently part of our households and many of their owners are already using the intelligent speakers for everyday tasks: they ask the speakers to suggest music or products, for example. Users can also imagine having some of their regular purchases organized by a voice assistant in the near future. However, the owners would prefer more emotionality, happiness or variety in the voice of their voice assistant - as another study by NIM shows.
It is therefore essential for marketing to deal with the growing importance of digital voice assistants as a new sales channel. To what extent will the devices shift the balance of power between consumers, dealers and manufacturers? This question is still open. But it is clear: with emotionality in their voice, speech assistants have arrived at the core of purchase decisions. The fact that emotions in human-human interaction - for example, triggered by voice - are contagious and influence shopping behavior has been extensively documented for years. For example, emotionally excited customers tend to make more impulse purchases.
Since one of the aims of the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions is to analyze the influence of trends and new technologies on the decision-making behavior of consumers, it investigated in November 2019 whether and how the emotional tone of voice assistants affects the buying behavior of consumers. In our study "Artificial Voices in Human Choices - The Impact of Synthesized Speech with Emotional Tone on Consumer Behavior" 213 students from the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg took part.
In order to obtain reliable data for the still not much researched area, a multi-step procedure model was necessary orienting on the scientifically established stimulus-organism reaction model. Emotional voices of speech assistants, which had to be learned by them first, served as the stimulus. Subsequently, the emotions of the test participants were measured in the dimensions valence (positive vs. negative) and arousal (calm vs. emotionally excited). Afterwards, the concrete reaction to the stimulus was determined in a shopping experiment - by observing the buying behavior and querying buying attitudes.