In the bustling world of retail business, where technology consistently reshapes the way we shop, a new contender has emerged to redefine the shopping experience: voice commerce.
The words “Hey Siri,” “Okay Google,” and “Alexa, add to cart” are becoming as familiar as a friendly store assistant. The rise of voice-activated shopping is rewriting the rules of retail, and savvy businesses are beginning to tune in to this sonic revolution.
The Dawn of Voice Commerce
Imagine this: you’re whipping up a culinary masterpiece, hands covered in flour, and suddenly, you remember you’re out of olive oil. In the past, this scenario might have led to an unfinished dish or a hasty trip to the store. But today, all you need to do is say the word, literally. Voice commerce allows you to seamlessly add items to your virtual cart while you’re elbow-deep in batter.
Based on a recent survey, it has been revealed that 60% of individuals who utilise smartphones have experimented with voice assistants, with 22% of them utilising this technology for shopping purposes. This trend is not merely a passing fancy, but rather a significant transformation in consumer conduct. E-commerce industry leaders are already enhancing their platforms to accommodate voice-activated shopping, acknowledging its potential to influence the future of retail.
The Echoing Potential
According to the esteemed entrepreneur Mark Cuban, the individuals who will become the world’s first trillionaires are those who possess a mastery of artificial intelligence and all its derivatives, and who apply it in innovative ways that were previously unimagined. One such derivative of AI, voice commerce, is a transformative technology that has the potential to revolutionise the way we interact with machines. By leveraging the natural mode of human communication, voice commerce effectively bridges the gap between intention and action, thereby representing a significant breakthrough in the field of AI.
Take into account the remarkable triumph of Emily, an entrepreneur based in London who utilised a prominent e-commerce website builder to showcase her artisanal jewellery to a global audience. Emily’s virtual store served as her digital sanctuary, where each click presented the potential for a transaction. However, upon incorporating voice search functionality into her platform, her sales experienced a significant surge. This feature enabled customers to effortlessly inquire about products by speaking into their devices, emulating the personalised interaction of an in-person shopping experience. Emily’s narrative exemplifies how even modest enterprises can leverage the voice commerce trend to attain unprecedented levels of success.
Seizing the Sonic Momentum
The question now is how retailers can ride this sonic wave to success. The answer lies in optimization. Much like a musician fine-tunes their instrument, retailers must fine-tune their online selling sites to harmonise with voice search. Statistics conducted by Grozeo International , reveals that 41% of voice assistant users conduct product searches, while 43% use it for price comparisons. “Retailers must ensure their product descriptions are clear, concise, and loaded with relevant keywords”, says the CEO of Grozeo, Khaja Hussain.
However, the process of transformation does not merely conclude with the search function. The purchasing process is also undergoing a significant evolution. Similar to how physical stores are meticulously designed to lead customers through a journey, online store website must construct a seamless purchasing path. The checkout process must be as seamless as a melody, and security measures must be as robust as the beat of a bass drum.
Singing the Benefits
The advantages of adopting voice commerce are manifold and contribute to a harmonious outcome of success. This approach not only caters to the fast-paced lifestyles of contemporary consumers but also unlocks opportunities for accessing new markets. For instance, consider the case of Alex, an entrepreneur based in the United Kingdom, who specialises in crafting handmade leather goods. Initially, he encountered difficulties in expanding his business beyond his local customer base. However, by leveraging the capabilities of top-tier e-commerce platforms and optimising his online store for voice commerce, he was able to broaden his reach beyond geographical boundaries. As a result, his products now adorn the wrists and shoulders of customers worldwide.
Furthermore, it is imperative to acknowledge the economic upsurge engendered by complimentary websites catering to small enterprises. These platforms serve to democratise the digital terrain, endowing even the most unassuming businesses with the ability to establish an online presence. The advent of voice commerce further bolsters this democratisation, furnishing these businesses with a state-of-the-art instrument to amplify their voices.
Advice for Retailers
Retailers are advised to consider voice commerce as a new technology in the industry. Both technology vendors and retailers suggest some recommendations for businesses that are contemplating adopting this technology.
It is recommended to use conversational keywords when assigning keywords to products. It is important to keep in mind the way people actually talk. Unlike text searches, voice queries are often longer, ranging from six to ten words. For instance, a voice search such as “Hey Siri, what is the best desk lamp available at ABC Store?” is more likely than a shorter text search such as “desk lamp.”
Improving product content is also crucial. If the content is too wordy, the voice assistant may compress it, which could result in a lack of clarity. Poorly organised content could also lead to a negative shopping experience for customers.
Retailers are encouraged to focus on repeat orders. Once customer data is established in the system, voice commerce enables rapid repeat orders, particularly for consumables. Offering discounts for repeat voice commerce orders could further incentivize customers to use this technology.
The Future is Heard
As Steve Jobs once remarked, “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” Voice commerce personifies this philosophy. It caters to the evolving expectations of customers and marries them with the marvels of technology. With the proliferation of smart speakers and the increasing accuracy of voice recognition, the stage is set for an even more immersive voice commerce experience.
In the space of retail business, voice commerce is a prominent feature that commands significant attention. It is the cadence that quickens one’s pulse as products are added to the cart through mere verbalization. It is the tune that effortlessly transforms one’s desires into tangible reality.
Retailers are urged to take note of the emergence of voice commerce, as it represents not merely a passing fad, but rather a transformative movement that is fundamentally altering the retail industry. Whether one is a nascent entrepreneur or an experienced business magnate, the seamless integration of voice commerce into one’s online sales platform may well prove to be the pinnacle of success for one’s enterprise. In a world where technological innovation is the key to prosperity, one’s voice may be the most potent instrument at one’s disposal.