The adoption of voice-enabled search is on the rise and brands may need to evolve how they communicate with customers if they want to stay relevant.

Digital performance marketing agency iProspect has released a new study that identifies key findings around the adoption of voice search in the UK and the purchase intent behind voice behaviour.

The firm surveyed almost 1,200 people online, only 15 per cent of whom said they use voice to interact with devices including smartphones, gaming consoles, laptops or digital assistant.

This is despite predicted trends that 50 per cent of all search will be done via voice by 2020.

The study also found that 25 per cent of voice search has ‘purchase intent’ behind it, i.e., to find a store location, research something to buy or place an order.

"As technology powering voice search gets smarter, consumer adoption will increase exponentially,” said Stefan Bardega, chief executive of iProspect UK & Ireland.

"This will have major implications for businesses as they’ll have to re-imagine their search strategies if they want their products to be discovered and purchased across all interfaces.

“Like social and mobile before it, voice activation is disrupting the digital ecosystem for brands. Those that are ready will remain relevant to their customers.”

Caroline Reynolds, head of product at iProspect UK, says brands will need to evolve how they converse as consumer expectations and behaviours shift.

“The year of voice has not quite arrived, but developing a voice-optimised keyword strategy through understanding the questions consumers are asking, whilst considering how voice search supports omni-channel journeys will set brands up for longer term success and maximising short-term performance from search,” she said.

Other key findings from iProspect's research is that 35-54 year olds are as likely to use voice search as 18-24 years olds and that men are twice as likely as women to purchase using voice.