When we speak of voice commerce we refer to the use of voice recognition technology to enable consumers to purchase items and services online. This enables consumers to purchase products or services by simply speaking.
Voice commerce will likely be a big trend in the coming year. Thanks to technology becoming more accessible and more people getting used to relying on voice assistants, digital marketers are developing creative solutions to promote products and services via this channel.
In short, online voice commerce involves searching and purchasing products using voice commands. Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and Cortana are the big players in this field who make people move away from their screens and adapt to a new way of interacting with businesses.
In this article, we will take a look at voice commerce used in e-commerce businesses. We will also dive into the potential of this technology as a tool for marketers to help drive growth.
How does voice commerce work?
The idea behind voice commerce is to make online shopping as simple as possible. Consumers only need their voices. Four requirements need to be met for this technology to function:
- To use a voice assistant, you need a smartphone or other device with a voice command interface (such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home).
- Activating the device requires you to speak a command, such as “Hey Siri”.
- Trigger words (usually verbs or actions) are necessary. Using “order” as the trigger word, you could, for example, say “Siri, order Product XYZ.”
- In order to prevent the device from placing orders by what it suspects is an “unknown” voice, you need to be mindful of your tone and inflection.
A broader customer experience can also be enabled by voice commerce. Customers often just want information in the easiest way possible. However, not all purchases are made via voice. Voice is often only one component of the customer journey. The e-commerce business environment today is complex as it already is.
Consumers might ask Alexa about the price of a product they have seen in an ad. The user ends up purchasing it on Amazon a few days later. Therefore, voice commerce entails far more than just a simple voice-based transaction.
From waking them up to shopping online, voice assistants like the Amazon Echo with Alexa and the Google Home with Google Assistant are increasingly popular. Smart speakers will be in 75% of U.S. households by 2025, according to Loup Ventures. In 2022, it is anticipated that voice commerce sales will reach $40 billion.
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Optimizing an e-commerce store for voice orders
The accuracy and convenience of voice commerce technologies are two other reasons why this trend is on the rise. For consumers to shop more conveniently, Google and Amazon both offer virtual assistant devices in regional languages.
Make sure your content is optimized for voice searches to increase your chances of being found. Spoken keywords are often different from those typed on a keyboard. You should take into account how users may ask their voice assistant for your product and/or service.
Usually, this involves a question rather than a statement. People who type “best Californian wines” when searching on Google, are likely to ask “Hey Google, what are the best Californian wines?” when speaking to their Google Assistant.
According to Google, 70% of voice searches are not based on common keywords, but are expressed in a natural language. Content, therefore, should include questions but also long-tail keywords that people tend to use in spoken language and should avoid complex words that are less common in conversations.
Trigger words such as “how,” “what,” “when,” and “where” perform best on voice searches and research has shown that up to 22% of queries are connected to local information – directions, shopping, restaurants and weather forecast, for example.
It is essential to keep users’ behavior in mind to be able to compete on the voice platform. It will help to diversify content that makes it more likely to be reached based on both the needs of your target audience and their speaking habits.
Voice commerce and Artificial Intelligence: chatbots and text orders
In today’s e-commerce and retail sector, voice commerce is available in a variety of implementation channels. WhatsApp, Facebook, and Telegram, as well as other messaging apps, use a variety of chatbots and voice assistants.
The use of voice is ubiquitous today. Mobile apps with voice assistants are in high demand, according to Voicebot. Think about incorporating a smart shopping assistant into your app to help your customers 24/7, to engage them, and keep them loyal to your brand. Consider your user experience before beginning a voice-powered project – who, when, and where will be using the solution.
When developing a voice assistant for your app, ask yourself the following questions:
- Should FAQs be answered by a chatbot?
- Should a smart robot make outbound calls to inform your audience?
- Could your customers find the right item using a voice assistant?
- Can you include a voice-activated game that entertains and promotes your brand?
Despite its relative youth, the conversational AI sphere is attracting hundreds of companies. Some provide a range of services, while others may be hyper-focused on just a particular aspect. However, if you need a simple solution, you have the necessary resources, and you know exactly what you need, then you might consider using chatbot builders such as Aimylogic, Voiceflow, Chatfuel. However, keep in mind that independent development requires constant technical support and enhancement. Moreover, most companies choose to make their solutions more flexible in order to tackle additional problems. Make sure you set aside sufficient resources for the future.
If you are planning on developing a complex solution, such as a voice assistant, then you should work with an approved vendor for development, implementation, and support. Your existing applications can be seamlessly integrated with their frameworks and platforms. With a working solution, continuous support, and analytics for optimizing performance, you benefit from a working business solution.
Voice commerce platforms: How Alexa, Google and Cortana can help
Voice-enabled searches have become hugely popular and are widely used for online shopping, making digital shopping that much easier. Alexa, Siri, Bixby, Google Assistant, and Cortana are some examples of digital assistants that are exceptional at responding to voice queries.
The integration between Cortana and Alexa is being regarded as the first crack in the wall that separates today’s leading virtual assistant technologies. Though there are millions of devices with voice-activated virtual assistants and there is a lot of overlap in terms of functionality and third-party support, at present Cortana, Alexa, Google Now, and Apple Siri exist as isolated ecosystems.
Windows 10 users can now access Alexa’s skills via Cortana, Windows’ built-in virtual assistant, using the Alexa-Cortana collaboration. Amazon Echo owners can also use Alexa to track appointments, reminders, and other information gathered throughout the day by Cortana.
Bringing together Alexa and Cortana would not only expand the utility of each platform, but also enrich the conversational AI and voice commerce markets. This is indeed the future of e-commerce!
What does the future of voice commerce look like?
If the adoption barriers are removed, voice commerce is poised to revolutionize B2C and B2B e-commerce. As of now, 20% of all Google searches are conducted via voice commands.
Currently, 42.7% of the population in the U.S. uses voice technology. A report by Econsultancy anticipates voice commerce will account for over half of all online searches in the coming years. As a result, people will be able to search for products online and in stores, just like they would with a shop clerk.
With voice commerce, B2B companies can improve warehouse and office processes, as well as differentiate themselves from competitors. B2B companies that adopt voice commerce technology can offer their customers a memorable, simple and innovative online experience.
Are you looking for help in optimizing your e-commerce store for voice commerce? Get in touch today and let’s talk about your project!