Artificially Intelligent (AI) voice assistants (VAs) are continuing to grow in popularity amongst consumers. While in their infancy, several brands are now utilising VAs such as the Amazon Echo to deliver brand-related information and services. However, despite the increasing use of VAs, we have little understanding of what motivates consumers to use such devices for brand-related information. Focusing on the Amazon Echo in-home VA, and its associated Alexa Skills, this research uncovers the key drivers of consumer brand engagement through VAs. In study 1, through a set of in-depth exploratory interviews with 21 respondents, we established three factors as key drivers of why consumers use VAs to engage with brands: AI attributes, technology attributes, and situational attributes. Study 2 examines these specific drivers via a questionnaire with 724 respondents. The findings outline the VA as an actor in the engagement process and affirm the importance of the VA’s AI attributes of social presence, perceived intelligence, and social attraction in influencing consumer brand engagement. Additionally, technology attributes influence consumer brand engagement, along with the utilitarian benefits derived from interactions with brand-related information. Hedonic benefits do not influence consumer brand engagement via VA technology, while trust concerns play a negative role in brand engagement behaviour. Lastly, the results convey that consumer brand engagement via a VA influences brand usage intention, but in contrast to previous research, does not directly influence future purchase intention.
- voice assistants
- consumer brand engagament
- consumer use of voice assistants
- artificial intelligence