Transforming Online Retail with Voice Commerce

Oct 12 2022

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Why Voice Commerce Is The Next Big Thing In Online Retail

Technology keeps evolving so does our business model need. With ecommerce and online retail transactions continuing to gain momentum, voice commerce has come as a gamer changer to create faster opportunities for businesses. Voice commerce, which was once used for low-risk tasks like listening to music, checking the weather or operating smart devices at home, has now become a critical part of online shopping.

People now ask Siri what’s the highest-reviewed running shoes on Amazon, Okay Google to search for the best yoga pants, and so on. The speaker-enabled technology enables users to engage with digital assistants using voice commands. Voice commerce allows users to discover, purchase and manage products from their smartphones or other devices by speaking their names.

Having said this, let's get into the potential of voice commerce platforms and some challenges you can exploit in favor. Before jumping on those, let’s understand Voice Commerce and how does it work.

What is Voice Commerce?

Voice commerce is a new way to purchase products and services. It helps companies improve customer trust and satisfaction, reduce their reliance on the use of technology and increase efficiency. Voice commerce is fast, contactless, highly visible, and more interactive than traditional commerce. Not only this, but Voice commerce is hands-free, eyes-free, and omnidirectional. How?

Because Voice Commerce works on the mechanism of voice recognition technology. It takes voice commands from the user's device and runs an algorithm to verbalize the most relevant and possible answer. Counting on these benefits of voice commerce, there have been several shifting trends too. Let’s have a look below:

Key voice commerce trends:

  • Total spending over voice commerce platforms is anticipated to rise from USD 60 billion (2022) to USD 290 billion by 2025.
  • Over 50% of global consumers have already used voice assistants.
  • The Global voice commerce market is set to grow by $55.68 billion during 2022-2026 with a CAGR of 24.34%.

With such shifting trends of customer experiencesbrands are ready to incorporate what is selling in the market.

How Voice Commerce Benefits Online Retail?

Now when you have learned about Voice Commerce growth and related benefits of voice technology for the end-users, let’s have a deep dive in the powerful use cases of voice-controlled assistants that can help the retail sector to strengthen their services to end-users:

  • Consistent, Engaging, and Personalized User Experiences

User experience or UX is more than just a collection of features. Great user experiences are built on a foundation of data, automation and intelligence to understand your customers and meet their unique needs. At Icreon, we have helped some top brands like National Geographic and New York Road Runners with streamlined user experiences.

Voice assistant is the best choice if we talk about consistent user experience. As the device can change but the user experience remains the same. Unlike traditional responsive versions of your website for different devices, voice-enabled experiences don’t require any effort. 

‘Speech conveys more meaning than text.’

As Voice technology is conversational in nature, it can interact with the user more intimately. Voice makes any website or application smart, accessible and gives users an engaging experience when they just talk naturally to your application and get what they need immediately. Unlike web pages, users don’t need to stare at the screen and read the whole content on your portal.

Last but not the least, voice-enabled interfaces can build that personalized experience by providing context closer to the users. Voice commerce combines the benefits of audio and speech recognition systems, voice generation and voice translation technologies, as well as text-based web search technologies, robotics, and haptic feedback to create a new platform for consumers to engage with businesses in a new way. 

One fine example is Amazon's Alexa. It works on three main commands order, re-order and add. Every existing user has data and user behavior saved and thus offers personalized and engaging user experiences.

  •  Voice Commerce Marketing

Marketing is the essence of the retail world. And voice is an extremely powerful tool for any digital marketing campaign. From shopping to making a business call with customer support, voice has become an increasingly popular technology for consumers.

Nowadays, people are exhausted from visual marketing, such as ads in-between videos on YouTube etc. Also, the platform allows them an option to skip ads or buy premium subscriptions to avoid advertisements. Talking about voice marketing, it is still a new concept; consumers are not used to it yet. It means your brand has increased chances of the likelihood of people listening to it.

Moreover, by using voice technology, you’re able to advertise your product without having to actually show up in person. Voice commerce has already started becoming a growing trend as smart home technology becomes more mainstream due to its ability to be programmed via voice command.

Again, Amazon's Alexa is the top brand incorporating voice marketing. The hierarchy of Alexa product recommendations covers previously ordered, amazon's choice, and top search results. It suggests users the products that compliment user's needs and past purchases. The user can simply answer yes or no to the suggestions made. Also, if the user’s choice is unavailable, the voice assistant suggests checking the Alexa app for more options. In simple words, it is promoting another product to users.

  • Discoverability and Generating Traffic

If you manage a website and rely on search engines to bring in new visitors, you are missing out on the huge opportunity of voice commerce. In the future, front-page rankings will become a thing of the past as users will become more accustomed to voice interactions with products or services before they decide to make a purchase.

Luckily there are tons of different methods to generate traffic and plenty of options for generating leads with voice commerce. As an example, Google voice merchants (Google Apps Scripts) are used by most of the companies to drive traffic on websites.

Marketers can use internet-connected devices in the home via Google Home and Amazon Echo to advertise their products. Having a voice assistant instead of a salesperson gives you the luxury to reach and engage anyone sitting anywhere in the world to promote your offerings thus bringing in more traffic to your website.

While everyone benefits from this type of marketing and discoverability approach, it does present several challenges for businesses that want their websites viewed by larger audiences.

Challenges of Voice Commerce

Marketing products with voice technology can be challenging, but it's not impossible. Voice and online commerce are undoubtedly the best combinations in today’s competitive landscape. But there are some limitations of voice user interfaces that you need to consider. For instance, voice ordering works well for repetitive orders. Voice assistants are good at recognizing shopping patterns, so if a customer has placed an order before then a voice assistant can help place the same order for the second time, that works pretty well.

Here lies the major issue as there are many other products or services available at your portal but without a visual component it would be impossible for the customer to look at it or even purchase it. What a customer sees on a website, or a mobile application is actually crucial for exploring and discovering new products.

So, what do retailers need to do to get the best of voice commerce in their ecommerce platform?

1. Content optimization

If you wish to get the best of voice assistants for your retail business, you need to work more on content optimization. Not only the product titles but also product descriptions, especially if the voice assistant wants to help a customer guide through the process, it really helps.

2. Q&A on product detail page

Almost every voice assistant uses conversational sentences where the majority of users ask questions. So, you need to optimize your web pages by including a good question answer section especially on product detail pages.

If you do this, the voice assistant can get to know this content and then actually make smart recommendations.

3. Long-tail keyword

As voice assistants go for lengthy sentences while interacting with users, it is advisable to include long-tail keywords in web pages. Or you can include multiple keywords in one keyword. For instance, the keyword ‘best LED lights’ is less likely to deliver relevant results in contrast with ‘where can I find best LED lights near me’.

Things to Consider Before Opting In vs Opting Out for Voice Commerce

Voice commerce is a tempting digital innovation in online retail. However, it might not serve a purpose for every business. Therefore, you need to be careful before opting for it. Here are some of the points that you should consider before incorporating voice-based commerce in our business:

  • Whether your product catalog and consumer base are suitable for voice ordering?
  • Internal discussion with the ecommerce team and technology team.
  • Brainstorm would ecommerce and voice ordering gel together for your business vertical.

If the answers to all these are supportive to voice commerce, there should not be a second thought.

Harness The Prowess of Voice Commerce Now

Online retail plays a significant role in the daily lives of millions of people and many brands operating in this vertical have used voice commerce as a more effective way to increase sales and engage customers.

Undoubtedly, voice commerce is quickly emerging as one of the most innovative trends in retail. With the emergence of voice technology and smart speakers, retailers need to make their ecommerce platforms voice-friendly to compete with their counterparts who offer unparalleled customer experience.

And the window of opportunities opens now for companies to work on voice-based offers. So now is the time to start working on incorporating voice commerce. At Icreon, our professionals thrive to offer advanced and feature-packed solutions that supports emerging technologies like voice. Explore Icreon’s Ecommerce Services.