What is voice-based commerce?
Voice commerce or voice-based commerce refers to technology that businesses can use to reduce customer effort by allowing their customers to make use of voice commands to look for products and buy them online.
Voice commerce involves using voice recognition devices to let users complete a selling, buying, ordering, etc., action on an eCommerce website or portal by making use of voice commands.
Usually, if a customer wants to place an order through an online channel, they would need to physically input transaction details through hardware. Voice commerce makes it possible for customers to do the same thing with much less effort when they issue verbal commands to a smart device like their Google voice assistants, Siri, and Amazon Alexa devices.
This type of voice-enabled commerce is definitely going to become mainstream very soon. A study already shows that in 2020, almost 70% of the users surveyed preferred voice search because of how fast it is. That stat is soon going to carry over to eCommerce as well. In fact, voice shopping sales are expected to reach the $40 billion mark by 2022.
How does voice commerce work?
The whole point of voice commerce is that is needs to be easy. If it isn’t easy, it defeats the whole purpose of this type of eCommerce. Here is how voice commerce works:
- First, you need to have a device that has a voice assistant. This device could be a smartphone or a dedicated voice assistant like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home.
- Now you need to speak a command that would activate the device. The command could be something like “Hey Siri” or “Hey Google”.
- After that, your command needs to include a trigger word which generally tends to be a verb. This trigger word would instruct the voice assistant about what you want it to do for you. If your command is “Hey Siri, order a pair of Jordan 5s in size 11”, then the word “order” would be your trigger word.
- The device will attempt to recognize your unique voice so as to prevent unauthorized people with ‘unknown voices’ from placing orders. It will try to pick up on your tones and inflections.
Why is voice commerce important?
Voice commerce is rapidly growing in popularity, here are some reasons why it is so important:
Reduces customer effort
Voice-based technology makes eCommerce easier for your customers. They don’t have to hunt through your store and painstakingly scroll through product listings. When they take the voice route for their online purchases, they get to find the product that they’re looking for, get a description of the product details, select it and buy it much faster than if they took the conventional route.
It’s also rather easy to buy products that you’re looked at earlier because the smart devices used for this type of online shopping remember your eCommerce history and help you place your order in a much faster manner.
It makes online shopping so much easier that 35% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 report that they prefer voice shopping to the conventional approach to eCommerce because of how much easier voice commerce is.
Allows for personalized eCommerce experiences
Voice commerce allows businesses to track their customers’ shopping patterns and behaviors, thus making it possible for the business to personalize their recommendations and much more.
This helps the business to offer the products and services most relevant to the customer, thus meeting their needs in a far better and more effective way. This new type of eCommerce makes it possible for businesses to improve their customer experiences dramatically by means of personalization.
Improves customer engagement
Voice commerce can improve customer engagement levels to a great extent, especially when it is pulled off in a conversational manner. Put an AI-powered chatbot into play and you’ll start seeing your customer engagement rates going through the roof.
It’s a better way of interacting with your customers. It’s not just transactional now, your voice-enabled chatbot could emulate the experience of interacting with a shopping assistant in a retail store and getting personalized recommendations from them.
Streamlines your product catalog
This part is similar to visual merchandising. It helps companies get the right product in front of the right person, at the right time. It even helps companies make their products more accessible. They can improve their product placement via voice commerce to reel in new customers to their store via voice search.
It even lets your customers quickly go through your highest-rated products with practically no effort involved.
It is very possible for businesses to earn a lot of sales from voice commerce in a faster manner. It even helps the users and customers buy these products much faster through the voice-based devices in their homes. Voice commerce allows customers to carry out their online shopping activities while taking care of other tasks. This multitasking ability eliminates the need to customers to take out time separately to check the products out visually and select and type commands in manually. They don’t need their complete focus on this activity, which means that voice commerce increases the chances of businesses making sales, by eliminating a major reason behind customers delaying purchases - them not having the time to actually make the purchase.
What are the challenges faced with voice commerce?
Limitations with languages and accents
Voice assistant devices struggle to understand various languages and accents that the users speak in. This could cause the devices to misunderstand commands and orders sometimes.
They need to feel more human
These voice assistants might seem robotic. The conversation needs to be more intuitive and seamless.
Lack of comfort
Quite a few customers are not yet comfortable with using voice commerce to place new and complex orders. Till now, they only use it to reorder items that they have already purchased in the past.