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Is Voice Commerce The Future Of Ecommerce?

is-voice-commerce-the-future-of-ecommerce?
Is Voice Commerce The Future Of Ecommerce?

You’ve all probably witnessed someone use voice technology before. If the names Alexa, Siri or ‘Hey Google’ ring any bells, this is how. Voice commerce (VC) takes this quickly advancing voice technology availability, and combines it with eCommerce. Why just use voice technology to ask questions? Why not use it to make purchases? With this new capacity at our fingertips, in this post we’ll ask if voice commerce really is the future of eCommerce.

Voice Commerce uses the powers of artificial intelligence to create conversation between humans and machines. Voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri & Google have become common household knowledge. They use a range of words and natural language processing to facilitate conversational commerce. 

The more trust people have in these systems, the more they grow. An example of VC would be;

Shopper: “Hey Siri, order the same red socks that I ordered yesterday again.”

Siri: “No problem, the order is placed now.”

When Did Voice Commerce Begin?

In 2011, voice commerce began to make itself known in a bigger way than before. Siri became available on the iPhone, and the excitement around the technology began. Shortly after, Google released Google Now and then Alexa followed. Once these key players were on the scene, the door had been opened.

How Popular Is Voice Commerce?

Once people got wind of the technology, there was a demand. As of today, 72% consumers say they’ve used voice search before. Many of those have an active VC unit within their homes. The popularity of voice technology is only expected to grow as technology becomes more advanced. With this, we will also see the growth of voice commerce.

Benefits Of Voice Commerce

Convenience

Voice commerce is incredibly quick and easy to use. This in turn makes it incredibly convenient. In a convenience culture where more people are looking to satisfy their needs as quickly and easily as possible, this fits in perfectly.

Since it’s just activated by a voice assistant and your own voice; it removes any friction from the buying process. It has never been easier to purchase anything, even hands free. For example, shoppers are now able to multitask, shopping whilst performing other things such as:

  • Cooking
  • Driving
  • Working out
  • Looking after children

The list goes on. The hassle of inputting card details is removed, as details are already stored. The process is therefore seamless. This in turn reduces cart abandonment, or losing the motivation to make a purchase.

Improved Customer Experience

VC requires already having an account and subscription to a certain platform. This means that there is increased trust between the business and customer. This boosts motivation to place orders, and assures that the sales process will be smooth.

People know that sales can be easy to track, return or cancel. This encourages them to order without hesitation. In turn, a more personalized experience can be offered.

Personalization

As VC requires accounts to be made, personalization is easily achieved. Data can be gathered through previous purchases and behavioral patterns. This leads to more relevant recommendations, and other personalized elements. This will improve the buying experience, leading to lifetime customers.

Voice Commerce Use Cases

Replenishment Ordering

One of the most popular use cases for voice commerce is replenishment ordering. If people have already ordered once and just need a repeat, voice commerce is a great way to achieve this. 

The trust is already there in the product and the brand. A quick voice command means the next delivery is already on its way. It can also be helpful if the shopper may have forgotten the exact name or brand of the item. They can use voice commerce to help them source the previously bought item, then order it again.

Recommendations

Since the history of the behavior of the shopper is already stored on the app, personalization is easily achieved to a high level. AI algorithms are continually learning and monitoring. This leads to more helpful recommendations and improved customer experience.

Delivery Queries

One of the most common eCommerce questions regards tracking and delivery queries. Voice commerce can easily answer these questions with no hassle. By simply asking; “where’s my order?” live updates can be given. This saves having to search through previous emails in the inbox, or logging into accounts to track. This offers a huge benefit to all shoppers.

Limitations Of Voice Commerce

VC does come with certain limitations. It may not work for all eCommerce stores, as it does require a subscription and account model. Furthermore, it requires advanced AI technology to succeed to a standard that pleases shoppers. If you are unable to do this, it may lead to bad reviews from shoppers.

Low-ticket items work well with voice commerce, but for higher-ticket items this does not also go so well. So if your eCommerce store sells higher ticket options, this may not be the right choice for you.

In terms of technology, there are still logistic issues when it comes to language limitations, certain accents and other blips of this nature. These will improve over time, but as of now are still being worked on.

Lastly there are some privacy concerns when it comes to voice commerce. People are worried about privacy, and are unsure of how it works. More time is needed for people to grow the right amount of trust.

The Future Of Voice Commerce

As time goes on and technology advances, voice commerce is set to grow. With all of the benefits it offers, certain businesses will reap the benefits from the opportunities this brings. It really does offer omnichannel capabilities in a way like never before.

However, voice commerce at this stage may not work for every business. It depends on each individual’s business goals. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, including the relationship with your customers, it can be considered. If you do decide to go ahead, it could end up making all the difference.

Special thanks to our friends at FastSimon for their insights on this topic.
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