As the next big thing in eCommerce, Voice-enabled solutions has become a great consumer shopping channel.

More than that, it has now set it’s usage bar as an ‘Enabler’ of online shopping on the web.

Almost all eCommerce apps are planning to feature voice interactions as advancement to traditional touch and click interfaces.

Everything! From voice ordering, voice payment, voice search, voice transactions, and even voice inquiries are being made through voice commands.

Rise of Voice Based Interaction

Yes! Right from introducing as a new digital trend to becoming one of the sexiest technological paradigm shifts, Voice Commerce has overtaken the phase of the digital revolution.

Especially the voice-enabled solutions are now considered a real deal for businesses who want to make their brand grow parallel with future trends in eCommerce.

And folks, it’s already propagating!

1 in every 5 US consumers has already made a voice purchase through voice assistants. It’s predicted that almost 50% of total online searches will be made via voice by 2020.

With an increased adoption of voice-enabled solutions, people obviously tend to buy devices with voice-first technology.

On the flip side, more and more brands are strongly strategizing their eCommerce mobile apps or eCommerce websites to develop a ‘Conversational User Interface’.

So, it’s a sincere call for all marketers and entrepreneurs aiming to smartly grow their brand online and stay at the top of new eCommerce trends.

This blog will clear out all your questions for what is voice commerce? How does voice-enabled technology work? What are the reasons to shift your business focus to voice technology? And why consumers prefer voice-search technology and voice-assistants in eCommerce apps?

What is Voice Commerce?

vCommerce is defined as using voice-enabled technology for user interaction with the eCommerce website or eCommerce mobile applications.

These voice-enabled app solutions are smart technologies and one of the best alternatives to using a mouse or keyboard to place an order or buy products/services online.

It uses a natural language speech system that focus on the exact traditional tones, voice pitches, and accents to interact with users on the app.

Voice Commerce provides virtual assistant to your customers where they can search, transact, order and purchase online through simple voice commands.

Allowing your app users to order or even make a payment anytime throughout the day- while driving a car, while taking a shower, while making your sweetheart asleep or at anytime if your assistant can hear you (Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana or Samsung’s Bixby).

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How does Voice Commerce work?

For Customer

An example will help you know how Voice Commerce works.

Let’s consider one instance of the voice shopping with Alexa voice assistant

Me: ‘Alexa! reorder the shampoo.’

Alexa: ‘Based on your past ordering history, I found Park Avenue Beer shampoo.
It’s $30 in total.
Would you like to buy?’

Me: ‘Yes’

Me after a day: ‘Alexa! where’s my ordered shampoo?’

Alexa: ‘Your pakage will arive on or before this Thursday.’

This is how Alexa voice assistant or similar technologies lets your customers buy products, book services, or reorder products much easily through voice commands.

For Businesses

Businesses partner with Alexa Assistant, Google Assistant or similar technologies in order to provide their customers with facilities of ordering, buying or making payments through voice via voice assistants.

These voice-controlled virtual assistants help businesses to collect customer data. It constantly analyzes the customer’s shopping pattern.

This highly helps businesses to offer more personalized services to their users.

Why your eCommerce websites, mobile apps or eCommerce marketplace apps should leverage voice-enabled technology trends?

Below statistics will make you aware of the people’s response to voice assistants, voicebot, voice transactions, and all the new things in voice commerce.

The current year sees more than 35 million Americans used voice-activated assistant at least once a month that includes it’s usage for online searches, making phone calls or even shopping for products or services and making payment through the simple voice commands.

Voice commerce statistics
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Are there any Real World Examples of Voice Commerce

Google Duplex help users to command their voice assistant to talk to the booking desk and fix an appointment much more easily.

Alexa for reordering has made it possible for users to experience a shopping comfort to the extent that voice assistant can use past order history and reorder that product/services when commanded.

A new mobile operating system called KaiOS based on Linux and powers JioPhones. It’s main feature supports 4G LTE, WiFi, and GPS with HTML based apps, long battery life, and optimized user interface in non-touch devices. These KaiOS supported phones have dedicated voice button for users to perform a voice command. The user interface of Kai Interface, encourages users to use voice based interaction at every step and in every app.

Food chains like Dominos, KFC, PizzaHut, and Wingstop are embracing Siri style voice ordering system that makes online ordering more capable and exact for the users.

Alexa users can now delete all their recorder voice inquiries.

Ford announced integration of Alexa into their cars that enables voice shopping while driving.

What are new trends in Voice Commerce?

Voice search

With voice going beyond smart speakers, users are extensively performing local searches and hyper-local searches like ‘store open nearby’ or ‘on sale+near me’ or ‘popular + brands’. New trends in voice search also shows important need of content optimization that involves long and complete sentence just as people speak in natural language. Also, AI for predicting exact demands of consumers is heading towards new innovations in voice search technology.

Voice payment

People prefer to make payments through voice allowing them to handle purchases in a totally frictionless manner. All business verticals from almost every industry sector has their target market using IoT based devices, smart speakers, smartphones that are equipped with voice payment technology. Recent research also proved that US respondents will be eager to own smart connected cars with voice payment capabilities. Adoption of voice pay, voice banking, and voice transaction will be a natural evolutionary step for retailers, fintech companies, banks, and also for the other businesses.

Voice ordering

New trends in voice activation is transforming the adoption of mobile ordering to the voice ordering technology. Voice-enabled ordering is becoming the next big thing for businesses to match up with consumer demands. New trends in voice commerce has also reached to the extent of providing personalized recommendations based on past order history.

Voice inquiries

Users are not only using voice to search for products. Toay, people are smartly adopting voice-enabled technology to also get knowledge, clear out their queries or effortlessly inquire about anything. Be it inquiring about a route to reach a destination, be it for knowing about how to project a screen, be it getting suggestions for what to cook for your loved one or using voice inquiries for knowing almost any thing.

Reasons why consumers prefer Voice Commerce?

In the initial stage, voice assistants was a novel way to listen to music and stay connected with some additional information. But today, the whole family right from toddlers to grandparents can command a voice assistant. Voice assistant interface in eCommerce app has gradually developed an enormous prospective user base of all age groups and of all economic classes.

So, let’s check out reasons why people prefer voice commerce…

More Personalization to users

  • Voice commands help bring the personality and warmth to the customer experience. Making conversations more life-like, users get more individualized app experience as they get smart customizations in voice-enabled features.
  • New trends in voice-enabled technology have made it possible for voice assistants to learn the voice of the user and create separate voice profiles.
  • Also, voice commerce trends focus to easily detect who is speaking (who is giving a voice command). This is how customers get a great personalized user experience on voice eCommerce apps.

The benefit of the ‘Hands-free’ trend

Voice allows users to multi-task to the level that was impossible previously. This is naturally creating numerous possibilities of user behaviour. Users can now ask for news headlines while cooking, bathing or driving. Requesting any radio station to be played while cooking dinner for kids.

Offering high scale handy solutions to customers even helps brands with rapid marketing. For example, herbs brand can propose a product to add in the users shopping cart during cooking lessons.

Search behaviours will constantly change

eCommerce businesses are experiencing a major shift in search technology from touchpoints to listening points. As users want instant search results with not spending much time to hunt for product/services on the web.

Brands are now reaching online places where users can get direct navigation to products details from various sources. For example, searching for a rich dessert recipe may pop up a shopping notification of its related ingredients on the user’s search results.

Compatibility & Integration

When we talk about integrating voice-enabled technology with app products, it’s for the businesses to develop custom apps or devices with specific voice functionalities especially for their customers or even for their internal staff.

Be it for your customers to search exact product, book an appointment, auto add routine products to cart, make payment or inquire.

Be it for your interdepartmental staff to source resumes, converse with customers, handle kiosks, orient new employees, request for a cup of coffee, schedule an interview, broadcast or email to coworkers.

Going beyond Smart Speakers

In spite of the rapid adoption of voice assistants and smart speakers, the industry innovators in every industry have headed in experimenting with the Siri shortcuts, Alexa skills, and Google assistant actions.

All these experiments are completely based on customer experiences. So, the success of voice technology is decked into all the products and marketing plans.

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Challenges in Voice Commerce

Natural Language Processing

The words we type in search bars of any applications might differ from what we might say as a query in real time. The main thing to consider here is that users interact with voice assistance more naturally just as they speak to a real friend. This is the major challenge of voice-enabled technology. An example is best to prove it. Say suppose, If I want to return a handbag. I am likely to refer to it as ‘the handbag I bought’ and not referring to the specific product name.

eCommerce businesses need to consider that search queries should be more specific as the users are more likely to speak longer and complete sentences. The product descriptions should involve words that can highly match up with the way people use voice search or voice assistant.

Overcoming the significant challenge of Natural language processing is one of the priority research trends for eCommerce market.

Security Issues and privacy concerns

According to a recent survey by Microsoft, 41% of total people using voice assistants are highly concerned about privacy and security. Voice-enabled technology make people insecure out of fear that the smart devices are constantly listening to them. Also, people dealing with voice transactions develop a sense of insecurity when it comes to card payment or eWallet security or even fear of getting their account hacked.

Lack of trust

With the new trends in voice commerce, shoppers highly trust the recommendations made by voice assistants. As a result, consumers buy familiar products through voice search. But when it comes to searching for a new product or a new brand, people switch to traditional online searching on websites or mobile apps. Lack of trust to search new products or anything new is one of the challenges. Here, the major challenge in voice commerce is to provide compelling and exhaustive product description with photos uploaded and clear product dimensions noted.

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Rich Opportunities in Voice Commerce

In spite of serious challenges faced in voice commerce, it’s rich opportunities are opening new fortunes for eCommerce brands. One of the most important opportunities for businesses is – Voice Commerce providing high ROI to brands

It’s but obvious as any new technology propagates in the market, brands literally push to prove how it can deliver good returns on investments. We have already shown the genuine statistics on high adoption of voice commerce. Not just the voice technology adoption, but voice as an enabler of easiest eCommerce operations will help brands make their ROI an endgame.

Flourishing opportunities in Voice Commerce are also addressed for

  • Advancement in voice user interface (VUI)– Voice assistants are penetrating to be interfaced into connected devices, connected homes, and connected lives.
  • Emergence of voice persona– Based on different locations, cultures, behaviour and cross cultural eCommerce designs, the voice persona will be equally important as analyzing the user persona.
  • Voice will become a new interface in enterprise– For inter departmental operations, voice technology will be integrated in enterprise app solutions.
  • Emotion detection technology through voice-enabled solutions– Technological innovations will reach to the extent of detecting emotions through analyzing the voice commands.

Conclusion

It’s important to prepare your business for integrating voice commerce in eCommerce application. Brands need to rethink all the possible ways to reach their targeted audience before competitors eat the fruits of voice eCommerce.

Rethinking the unique app designs, planning out user engagement strategies, developing strong front-end and back-end technology of your eCommerce app is going to be must-haves to survive in the global competitive market.

Literally, voice eCommerce will go to a larger extent with advancement in digital technologies. To what extent?

‘Hey Google! Order a burger, pay for it. Oh! Also eat it for me.’

So, it’s giving a green signal to all the entrepreneurs to prepare for voice commerce in order to compete in the market.

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