3 ‘Vs’ of the future – voice, visual, and video – take center stage at CES

CES is ground zero for new technology and this year offers a host of new innovations and iterations that promise to change how consumers engage with brands. Sure, foldable screens are pretty cool, but even better are the growing opportunities to identify and reach consumers in moments of intent.

The buzz is that 5G will usher in a new era of faster connectivity, one that brings to life the future we’ve been promised where artificial intelligence (AI) runs quickly through our homes, cars, and mobile devices.

To this end, we’ve identified the three V’s – voice, visual, and video – that will impact marketers and how commerce is transacted in powerful ways.

Voice

The announcements out of CES 2019 came fast and furious with countless new products incorporating Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant that will facilitate voice search and engagement.

By 2022, 55% of US households are expected to own a smart speaker, according to Activate. Although actual purchasing via voice has been very low, that, too, is changing. The number of orders placed with Alexa tripled during the holiday season, according to Amazon, and we’re already seeing new consumer behaviors emerge.

Research from Performics Intent Lab, in partnership with Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications, found that shoppers are most interested in buying household items (19%), meals (15%), and groceries (13%) through voice — all tasks that will be made easier by the newly-enabled gadgets on display at CES.

Brands need to start engaging with consumers through voice early in this adoption cycle. It may not be about saying “buy” right now, but the moment is sooner than we think.

Visual

Images are now more trusted by consumers than text, and the addition of AI to a variety of screens will further emphasize the importance of pictures.

Visual search is manifesting itself in various ways, from leveraging a device’s camera function to using image recognition to deliver search results or letting users scroll through images or icons versus reviewing written descriptors.

The Intent Lab found that 36% of consumers have conducted a visual search, and nearly 60% of those respondents think it’s easier and more trustworthy than text. Plus, 59% of consumers think visual information is more important than textual information across all consumer categories.

Images are an important aid later in the shopper journey; 41% of consumers find visual information very helpful when comparing products on search engines and e-commerce sites. Consumers tell us that visuals are a significant factor in their buying decisions.

Video

Super high-resolution TVs are getting a big upgrade as 4K TV gives way to 8K. Double the resolution with faster speeds means more information and opportunity to stream interactive programming into living rooms. There will be new on-screen search and shopping functions and a customer base becoming more adept at navigating the displays.

The Intent Lab study also shows that video ads are assistive to consumers in their journey and lead to purchase. Video proved 1.2X more effective than text in improving product evaluations when a consumer was in a browsing mode, moving them closer to buying.

Performics found that video content has an especially high impact on brand evaluations, early in the shopper journey as options are considered, before decisions are formed. Reaching and engaging with consumers through video will likely explode as new entertainment platforms come online. The growing number of cord cutters is wreaking havoc in the traditional entertainment channels and this shift, powered by faster speeds, will kick it all into high gear.

Esteban Ribero is senior vice president, planning and insights, Performics, a Publicis Media company

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