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BizReport : Search Marketing : April 24, 2017

Bing: Voice searches for hotels up 343% YoY

Voice technology simplifies consumers' lives and, according to new data from Bing, it is simplifying travel searches, too.

by Helen Leggatt

Bing's share of the UK search engine market is on the rise. In 2016, Bing had a 20.5% share, which has now risen to 25%. In the UK alone, Bing boasts 30million unique searchers and 900million monthly searches.

Bing also has its own virtual personal assistant (VPA), called Cortana, and the use of it in travel searches is gaining popularity. According to Bing, there has been a threefold annual rise in UK consumers using voice to search for hotels and flights. Searches via Cortana for hotels has risen 343% YoY, and flights by 277%.

Interestingly, nearly all (95%) of searches for hotels and flights were found to be driven by brand.

"It has been predicted that by 2021 more than four billion mobile OS-based assistants will be in use globally. We will likely see this number rise as consumers realize the potential of digital assistants to improve their everyday lives, something we are already seeing with smart home devices such as the Cortana-powered Amazon Echo, becoming integral to homes across the country," said Bing Ads head of insights, Thom Arkestål.

"As digital assistance gains continued momentum in the UK, marketers must be aware of the effect this has on search strategies."

A recent study in the UK found that 88% had used voice technology of which 87% said "when voice technology works properly it simplifies their lives. In fact, the top three reasons for using voice are based on practicality - convenient, simple and quicker than typing. The fourth reason - that virtual personal assistants are fun - suggests that, despite having been around since 2011, there remains an element of novelty in their use.

Tags: research, search engine, search marketing, travel, voice technology

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