Saturday, July 13, 2019

Voice Commerce: Are you ready for the next BIG thing in E-Commerce?

E-commerce has become one of the most competitive industries out there with the growth of the Internet and the development of technologies. Everyone has equal opportunities, the playing field is levelled. All opportunities are within the reach of professionals in e-commerce. While all of this sounds nice and peachy, it also means businessmen need to make even harder efforts to gain an advantage over the competition and to acquire and retain clients. The best way to get more attention in the tech department than your rivals is to always be on top of what's fresh. Well, here's some interesting news for you: over 30% of U.S. internet users purchased or searched voice search information about a product in 2018. Half of all internet searches are estimated to be voice-based by the year 2020.

Now that you know voice search is the next big thing in e-commerce, for more detailed information on the topic, you should read the article below.

One of the latest e-commerce developments is voice commerce, a technology in which both Amazon and Google are investing in. When Google came out with Google Home, Amazon invested in its device dubbed the Amazon Echo. This technology is rapidly catching on and creating a large niche–voice command technology in general and voice commerce, in particular, have become the focus for both online retail giants as well as consumers who seem to adapt surprisingly quickly to this novelty over the past six months. We're going to explore in this post:
  • What is Voice Commerce?
  • The advantages of Voice Commerce.
  • The Challenges for Online Merchants.
  • Trends in Voice Commerce.
  • How to prepare for it.
  • Future of Voice Commerce.

What is voice commerce and how big it is?

Voice Commerce is a software that uses voice recognition technology primarily intended for commerce websites. An alternative to using a smartphone/computer keyboard to navigate commercial websites and buy items is imagined. This software was quite basic with simple' yes' and' no' commands when it was first established, but now it can handle more complicated questions and answers.

We have already mentioned some numbers that could illustrate how big voice trade is and how big it is going to become, but that's not even the start. In the United States alone, voice purchases will reach $40 billion by 2022. We can expect an increase of 6.5 million in voice searches this year. It is most frequently used by Millennials (Who are Millennials?-the younger generation with the most prominent buying power right now).

The advantages of voice commerce

The popularity of v-commerce among customers mostly lies in the fact that it allows them to multitask. Unlike reading on a screen and typing on the keyboard, giving voice commands is easy to do while you are performing other tasks.

From the retailers’ point of view voice commerce brings other benefits:
Creating a more streamlined customer experience: With advanced v-commerce support the products are becoming more accessible than ever, and the path between the customer and the product is shortened and straightforward which could motivate spending and generate customer satisfaction.

Working on personalization: In recent years personalization became imperative for retailers seeking to survive on the crowded market and v-commerce with voice recognition technology in combination with AI technologies could bring an improved personalized experience.

Minimizing the sale points: The number of steps to exchanging products for money is significantly shorter.

Reducing the costs of e-commerce: V-commerce is less labour-intensive. Consequently, you’ll need fewer sales agents and equipment to handle it.

The challenges for online merchants

The key challenge for online merchants though will be SEO as written search optimization and voice-based optimization techniques differ fundamentally:
  • Algorithms based on written text determine the relevance of a site or product based on a short phrase that one searches for based on relevance for example ‘London hotels’
  • lgorithms based on voice recognition will cater to natural language queries which will likely be longer than written searches and be in full rather than partial sentences. A good example would be ‘I am looking for well-priced hotels in London’s West End.
Another challenge to be overcome is marketing products purely using verbal descriptions and not images. So sellers will need to come up with:
  • Short
  • Catchy
  • Precise

Product descriptions

Despite these hurdles, leveraging this new technology to your benefit seems like a wise gamble. According to analysts at Gartner Group, early adopters stand to gain as much as a 30% upturn in e-commerce revenue by 2021.

Voice search implementation trends

An interesting trend to take notice of is new data released by Delineate research firm showing that many users turn to voice commerce specifically when it comes to ordering groceries and toiletries.
  • 35% of people in the US who own voice-based devices admit to making toiletry and grocery purchases using this platform as of February 2018.
  • Another shopping trend among voice-based consumers is that it is more common for them to add items to their cart over time and then place a bulk order instead of making individual purchases. This may be due to the fact that some sites offer free shipping when purchasing multiple items simultaneously.
  • According to a survey conducted by Capgemini at the end of 2017 – one out of three people who use virtual assistants in the US and Western Europe buy products using voice especially local ‘non-tangible’ products such as a:

    1. Meal
    2. Service
    3. Flight
    4. Hotel
  • According to e-Marketer, people using voice assistants will grow to 69 million in 2018 and 75 million in 2019.

How to prepare for the now trending voice commerce?

All that remains is the preparation of your business for voice-based search. Here are five steps to get you there:

1. Get into the world of voice apps. Many of the apps offer simple programming interfaces which can be very helpful. For example, Amazon Alexa Skill Kit’s interface allows you to create voice-driven listings and track shipments via voice commands.

2. Establish a voice search optimization strategy (as we mentioned above – natural language and complete sentences).
. br> 3. Remove all the obstacles which could hold back or unnecessarily lengthen the purchase process via voice technology. 4. Spread the word of the voice search implementation on all your marketing channels, including social media.

The future of voice commerce

Amazon currently holds the largest market share of voice tech and smart – approximately double the size of Google’s share, so you should put your focus there. Still, don’t underestimate Google’s ability to catch up.

The key issue predicted for the future is safety, especially when it comes to sharing personal data and performing financial transactions via voice-based searches. While the level of security is not much different from regular online purchases, earning the trust of the customers will be a task to live up to. The more the technology is used, the fewer doubts will be attached to it. In the following years, v-commerce will become more versatile and simplified, and therefore, more present than ever. See how -

1. Amazon

Amazon Alexa currently allows customers to buy digital media such as music and video games as well as physical goods. Though physical goods cannot yet be purchased from within the ‘Amazon Alexa Skill App’ but will likely be available there too in the near future.

2. Google

Already facilitates the sale of physical products through Google Assistant and Google Home. Additionally, Google has partnered with over 40 major brands such as Walmart and Target which have become part of the Google Express program which supports voice commerce.

3. What is Siri?

Siri is an intelligent assistant that offers a faster, easier way to get things done on your Apple devices. Even before you ask. Siri is expected to be able to facilitate voice commerce through Apple Pay in the near future as well, though it is not currently available.

The simple fact is that these platforms know voice features are in demand and that is why they are working tirelessly to offer this to customers. Alexa and Google Assistant are also recommending certain brands and this is going to create placement wars for merchants who want to be publicized.

There is no doubt that traditional online search behavior is changing. As an online merchant, you need to be aware that there are billions of dollars flowing into this sector, and if you do not hop in, you are falling behind. V-commerce is not the next big thing. It is the big thing at this moment, and this is the moment to begin to implement it.

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