Canadian Report: English and French Use of Voice Search

TORONTO, Nov. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Mindshare Canada has released a new report uncovering what Canadians say to their smart speakers.

Voice search is touted as a valuable tool for consumers looking for information and for shopping. However, the report findings suggest that Canadians are only scratching the surface of the capabilities – and holding back over fears around the privacy and safety of devices from Amazon, Google and Apple.

“There are articles emerging everyday 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,” said Sarah Thompson, CSO, Mindshare Canada.

English & French Canadians Use Voice Technology Differently

The proprietary research identified voice technology trends amongst Canadians and differences between voice technology users, segmented across English-speaking Canadians and French-speaking Canadians.

English and French Canadians use voice technology very differently:

  • French-speaking Canadians mainly ask Google, whereas English-speaking Canadians ask Siri.
  • French-speaking Canadians have fun with the voice search but English-speaking Canadians are very practical – setting alarms for example.
  • About 40% of English-speaking Canadians use voice tech regularly or occasionally, compared to only a third of French-speaking 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-speaking Canadians are more curious to find a local business utilizing search than French-speaking Canadians, who prefer to use their technology to gain more information on a product that they’re interested in.

“This probably has more to do with planning and building for French Canada is typically an added expense or an afterthought,” said Thompson. “It is important for brands to consider all Canadians and what content and experience they need. Those marketers that consider French Canada will get early adopters of voice search and consider their love of understanding products and having fun have an opportunity to win hearts and minds.”

Other 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 percent of English Canadians and 3.5 percent of French Canadians having adopted Alexa.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”As well as local differences, Canadians’ use of voice technology differs from the rest of the world.” quote=”As well as local differences, Canadians’ use of voice technology differs from the rest of the world.”]

We 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.

Voice search should be considered in Canadian digital marketing strategies, as we prepare for Canadians to embrace it.

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.

SOURCE Mindshare Canada
CONTACT: Sarah Thompson,

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.

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Betsy Boo

I wonder if it hears french properly? I think most are built around english but I’m sure it’s improving with multilanguage use right?