Chart of the Week: Why Consumers Use Personal Assistant Apps

Last month, we released Rise of the Machines: How Personal Assistant Apps Are Shaping Digital Consumer Habits, which examines how AI-driven personal assistant apps are influencing consumer behavior on smartphones. As part of our research for the report, Verto Analytics conducted a funnel analysis on nine of the most popular personal assistant apps on the market, which allows us to look at the which apps consumers use before and after using a personal assistant app. But we wanted to learn more about what consumers were using Siri, Cortana, or other personal assistant apps for, and to understand how that fit into the behavior we observed in the funnel analysis.

What tasks do consumers use personal assistant apps to accomplish?

While the Rock may use Siri throughout every hour of his globe-trotting, star-studded day, how do ordinary consumers incorporate personal assistant apps into their daily routine? Verto Analytics conducted a Smart Poll survey to follow up on our original research. We asked our panel of consumers (U.S. adults, ages 18 and above) to list their three primary reasons for using a personal assistant app on their smartphone.

By far, the most oft-cited reason for using a personal assistant app (a use case claimed by 71% of respondents) was to ask a question or search for something: our funnel analysis also backs up this claim, showing that the greatest share of post-personal assistant app activity takes place in Chrome, a search engine. The next three most popular use cases for personal assistant apps were about half as commonly cited: to initiate a call or text message (35%), to check the weather (34%), and to map a location or to navigate somewhere (33%). Again, our previous funnel analysis corroborates these findings: Google Maps and Messages (a messaging app for Android) also rank high on our list of post-personal assistant app activity. More complex use cases still remain relatively low: less than a fifth of respondents indicated that they used personal assistant shops to shop online or to discover or consume content. However, as personal assistant apps (and the artificial intelligence that powers them) becomes more sophisticated and pervasive, we may see an increase in these sorts of activities.

This Chart of the Week has been brought to you by Verto Smart Poll. Interested in learning more about our insights on consumer behavior? Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest content.