Monthly Archives: June 2019

How Voice Commerce is Changing the Way People Shop

With the use of voice commerce technology on the rise, it’s no wonder that the concept is changing the way millions of people shop online every day. Whether it’s making ordering a refill of paper towels easier for a busy parent or ensuring an auto shop owner with hands covered in grease can still get the tools they need, voice commerce allows us to fit shopping seamlessly into our busy lives.

Below, we’ve rounded up a few notable ways that voice commerce is changing the shopping experience for consumers around the world. Read on to find out more about how today’s shoppers are utilizing– and benefiting from– the powerful capabilities of voice commerce technology

How Voice Commerce is Changing the Way People Shop

Reordering is easy and intuitive

If you utilize a voice assistant to make a routine purchase, that data can be stored for use in the future. That means that once it comes time to order toilet paper again, all shoppers need to do is ask their voice assistants to “order toilet paper.” There won’t be any questions, fuss, or confusion– whichever product was last ordered in that category is simple reordered and at their doorstep in a matter of days.

Leaving reviews has never been simpler

Many consumers fail to leave reviews because of one simple factor: time. Today’s shoppers are constantly busy and always on the go; but with the help of voice technology, they’ll have a much easier time of dictating reviews while they attend to other business, too.

Savvy marketers know that reviews are critical to retail success (especially in the realm of online shopping), but getting consumers to spend time writing them is tough. Voice commerce technology removes this barrier from the equation entirely.

Increased humanization

For decades, shopping online has been an impersonal and detached experience. Web users who want assistance with their shopping or are in search of that unique “human touch” during the experience have long been out of luck– but voice commerce is changing that. Through the use of online shopping process.

Speaking with a voice assistant will never measure up to receiving personalized service in a brick-and-mortar store, but it’s an ideal solution to the communication-based dilemma posed by online shopping.

Making returns easier

Returns are a natural part of the retail cycle, especially if shoppers are making purchases online. It’s only fair that return rates rise when consumers don’t have a chance to see the items they’re buying in person before making a purchase. While the process of online returns has long been a hassle for retailers and consumers alike, voice commerce could change that.

Businesses are increasingly automating portions of the returns process to make it easier and more intuitive. Shopping assistants can automatically remind consumers to send back unwanted items from services who build returns into their business models (like keep-what-you-want subscription boxes). Not only does this remove the headache of frustrated buyers who failed to make returns on time for retailers, but it means consumers can spend less time fretting over whether they’ve started the process in a timely manner.

How Voice Technology is Revolutionizing eCommerce

What is Voice Commerce?

Voice commerce is an umbrella term utilized to refer to a number of innovative new voice-based technologies. These technologies all allow consumers to use voice commands in order to perform commerce-based tasks they’d normally rely on a computer and keyboard (or a mobile phone) for. Some of these tasks may include:

• Making traditional online retail purchases

• Ordering food or rideshare service via voice

• Researching purchase options

Voice commerce in the real world

While it sounds a little foreign, the concept of using voice commerce throughout the course of our day-to-day lives is much more common than you might suspect. One company, Capgemini, conducted a study concerning voice commerce use featuring over 5,000 respondents from a number of countries. The results?

• 51% of respondents utilized voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri

• 34% of respondents have utilized voice commerce technology to order meals

• 35% of respondents have purchased other products by way of voice commerce technology

How Voice Commerce is Revolutionizing eCommerce

Improved customer experience

Happier, more satisfied customers spend more money. That means that any opportunity a business has to improve the customer service experience for consumers has the potential to make an enormous impact on their brand’s bottom line.

Voice commerce is one straightforward, innovative piece of that puzzle. Companies who leap to create their own special mobile apps and voice assistants with customized features and abilities are able to separate themselves from the crowd and stand out amongst competitors. This means a frenzy to achieve change for brands and an improved shopping experience for customers.

Targeted advertising is becoming easier

Anybody who knows anything about marketing is aware that targeted content and advertisements are a lucrative investment regardless of what you’re selling. As voice commerce technology becomes more advanced, voice assistants are able to field a growing variety of questions and concerns– and that means they’ll have more customer feedback and input to base advertising decisions on.

Within three years, it’s anticipated that as many as 40% of consumers will be relying on voice assistants to complete tasks they otherwise would have on apps or websites. That translates to a wealth of learning opportunities for the Al software that’s powering voice commerce capabilities.

Making purchases is simpler than ever before

Perhaps one of the most impactful features of voice commerce technology lies in the fact that it makes buying things easier. Consumers are much more likely to make last-minute or impulse purchases if they don’t even need to lift a finger to do it.

Consider a single mother who just arrived home from work. She’s likely on the couch for a moment, exhausted, with a toddler running circles around her and no idea what to do for dinner. You can hardly blame her for avoiding a run to the store to grab food; but thanks to voice commerce technology, she can order grocery delivery through a service like Amazon Prime Now and add additional items to her cart she never would’ve purchased otherwise.

The value to be found here becomes clear immediately. Thanks to voice commerce, consumers don’t even need to leave their home or head to the computer to make purchases. That translates to larger purchases with greater frequency, which means big bucks for eCommerce retailers.

Why Aren’t More People Using Voice Commerce?

Anyone observing last year’s holiday season and the plethora of home voice-activated devices purchased by consumers, might be surprised to learn that these devices are not necessarily being used for e-commerce transactions. In fact, eMarketer reports that only.4% or $2.1 billion of e-commerce in 2018 came from voice-activated commerce. Breaking it out even further, just over 50% of women have never purchased anything using their voice-activated device. Men do slightly better with almost 60% reporting they have used their device to make a purchase at least once. In this post, we will discuss some of the unique e-commerce challenges presented by voice-activated devices, as well as discuss what the future might hold for this emerging technology.

Voice Commerce Challenges

Change Takes Time

While it is likely that voice-activated devices will become more and more commonplace, it still takes time for the average consumer to discover all the potential uses of these devices. It’s one thing to ask Alexa or Siri a simple question about today’s weather — it’s another thing to trust a device enough to complete a financial transaction. Even though most people are now comfortable with using their PC or smartphone to make a purchase, these transactions involve actually seeing the transaction occur, as well as controlling it by fingertip. With voice-activated e-commerce, transactions are completed through voice alone, which removes some of the visual information and tactile interaction that helps consumers feel comfortable and in control.

A Different Way of Shopping

The traditional manner of shopping often included visiting several stores, comparing prices, quality, etc. Then online shopping emerged and consumers loved the convenience of shopping for and comparing items, reading product reviews, then completing a transaction — all by way of a few keystrokes.

Voice-activated shopping is notably different than these more traditional methods. If a customer knows exactly what they want to purchase, then a voice-activated device makes the entire transaction a simple, brief conversation. However, many customers don’t know exactly what they want to buy. They still want to compare various items, read reviews, and look for deals. In addition, in many cases, a visual representation of all their various options is critically important for an individual to help them make their final product selection.

Little Incentive

Companies like Amazon have offered some discounts and sales in the hopes it will encourage their customers to try their Alexa devices to make purchases, but so far the incentives have been small. Customers simply aren’t motivated enough to try a new way of parting with their dollars, which unsurprisingly turns out to be a very important part of their daily life.

The Future of Voice Commerce

It’s not uncommon for a product or industry to initially experience some growing pains before eventually offering consumers something of real value. Both leading tech giants (Amazon and Google) seem to want to give voice-activated devices a real chance to become major components in voice commerce transactions. Lesser players such as Apple and Sonos are likely to remain focused on other services offered by home speaker devices.

All is not lost yet in the game of voice commerce vs traditional commerce, or even in the competition of which company will eventually dominate in the area of voice commerce. One crucial feature that holds notable promise is the incorporation of smart screens to go along with voice-activated devices. Just this addition alone would bring back the all-important visual aspect of shopping — so crucial when making decisions about where to book a resort for a vacation, buying shoes or clothing, etc.

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