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How Voice Search will Transform the Future of eCommerce

How Voice Search will Changem the Future of eCommerce

eCommerce has changed the way customers shop, and the internet is seeing a rapid increase in transactions. Going one step forward and making digital shopping easier are voice-enabled searches that are enormously popular and being used extensively for shopping online. Virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s Bixby, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana are a few examples of some great platforms that are exceptionally successful with voice queries. With the help of voice search, you can now order your groceries, call for a taxi, play music, and access any information you need.

mobile and voice search

72% of people who own voice-activated speakers use these devices as a part of their daily routine.

Voice-enabled shopping has seen huge traction in the past few years. With the rise of the products in the online markets, experts predict a further surge in the demand for voice-driven user experience. A forecast by the U.K. based analysts at Juniper Research shows that voice commerce will grow to reach more than $80 billion per year by 2023.

What is Voice Search?

Voice search is a technology that allows users to perform a search on the internet through their digital devices. Voice search is becoming a favored mode of communication since it reduces time and exertion as users don’t have to look for keys or type. The feature is used for carrying out a variety of activities on the internet, which would otherwise require users to type and proceed.

The following statistics show the importance of voice technology and voice-enabled devices:

The popularity and preference of voice search among internet users, emphasizes the need for eCommerce to include voice search optimization in their marketing strategy.

Importance of Voice Search in eCommerce

The rise in voice search can be a game-changer for the market. By the end of this year, half of the internet searches will happen with the help of voice search. Overlooking voice search for eCommerce can mean losing out on the obvious opportunity. It is surprising that many marketers haven’t paid a lot of attention to this growing trend.

By 2022, 55% of all American households will own a smart speaker with voice shopping hitting $40 billion by the same year.

A voice search app or platform should be at the heart of your customer experience strategy. Here’s a list of reasons that indicate why voice search will be the future of eCommerce.

1. Offers Personalized Shopping Experience

Voice search personalizes shopping experiences with the use of recommendations based on individual preferences. For example, if a customer uses AmazonFresh to buy their daily needs and is ordering them through Alexa, the voice assistant can suggest items that match their diet based on the preferences that have been communicated to the device. And if an order has to be repeated, voice search can make the task even easier for the user.

Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized experiences.

2. Easy to Review

Collecting reviews hasn’t been easy for businesses but with voice search, sharing feedback is a breeze for customers. The ease and convenience of reviewing also make them more genuine and meaningful, which in turn helps the product and its several other customers. As against the time-consuming task of typing long feedbacks, voice assistants ask for specific questions and ratings, and without that hassle of having to log in.

Purchases made using voice search

3. Time-Efficient

Voice search is quick and effective when it comes to typing a query. The average person types at the speed of around 30 to 35 words per minute, whereas a voice search can let you process close to 100 words per minute. Hence, voice search empowers you to communicate fast and obtain results more swiftly, which is an exciting feature for most users. With voice search, you can also shop on-the-go even while being engaged in another activity such as cooking or driving.

Despite being accessible everywhere, 62% of the respondents would use their voice assistant while multitasking.

where voice search is being used

4. Enables Smart Shopping

Voice search features are not just about using voice; they are also about using artificial intelligence as well as machine learning effectively. This makes the voice feature smart enough to capture your shopping behavior and habits. For instance, when you are buying your monthly grocery online, the voice assistant can recommend and remind you about products that have previously been a part of your cart and are missing in the current list. This is a huge advantage for brands as well.

Brands That Use Voice Search to Boost Engagement

Many retail brands are making their business big with voice search features. Here are four leading brands that have effectively created their unique voice on the internet.

1. Johnnie Walker

The Scotch whiskey brand, Johnnie Walker, uses a voice search feature to offer virtual assistance that explains users about this signature whiskey and helps them build a connection with the brand. They ask users a list of questions about their preferences and then recommend a Johnnie Walker product that is most appropriate for them.

Johny Walker uses voice technology to Boost Engagement

2. Nestlé

In 2017, this global brand launched its GoodNes Alexa skill. It offers a visual voice browsing experience to the customers who love cooking. The Alexa device helps customers enhance their culinary skills with voice and visual guidance. GoodNes offers a visual guide that runs on Safari or Chrome on both desktop and mobile devices.

Nestle uses voice technology to Boost Engagement

3. Domino’s

Domino’s pizza rolled out a voice assistant feature Dom for automating pizza orders over the phone to ensure that the process is convenient and quick for customers. It takes orders from the users and checks their order status as well. This is in fact, a part of Domino’s strategy to go 100% digital in the near future.

4. Patrón Tequila

The tequila brand partners with several virtual assistants, including Amazon Alexa and the Google voice search device, to bring it’s Patron Cocktail Lab recipes, how-to videos, tips, and recommendations to their target audience through expert bartenders via voice activation.

Patrón has even introduced its AI-enabled chatbot known as Bot-tender. This tool suggests cocktail recipes and ideas to customers on social media messengers like Twitter and Facebook.

How Net Solutions Integrated Alexa Voice Search in an Application

Voice search is gaining a lot of publicity and customer’s attention, as a result, many companies are implementing it in their business model. Here’s how Net Solutions incorporated a voice search feature with an grocery shopping application.

Steps to Integrate Alexa with Your Application

  • Open https://developer.amazon.com/alexa/console and create and new skill
  • Define the invocation name. Ex: my test app
  • Define an interactive model which consists of intents and slots
    • Provide a name and a list of utterances that users would say to invoke this intent
    • After you write a few utterances, note the words or phrases that represent variable information. These become the intent’s slot. Ex: I want to purchase {product}
    • Define the slot type to your slot. Ex: number, food, animal, etc.
  • Create a Lambda function and define intent handler for each intent
  • Create a service file (optional) to interact with API Gateway
  • Train you model and deploy Lambda function
  • Go to “Test” section to test this skill
  • Publish this skill.

Challenges

  • Limited instructions: Though we can get our task done by verbal instructions easily it should be followed by certain and specific instructions. We can add any number of intents as per our requirement to hone the customer experience.
  • Third-party solutions like Alexa come with challenges such as the conflict in 2 different intents, the accent of customer, etc which every voice integration platform has to address.
  • An extensive list of intents: Developer has to define all possible types of intents for better customer experience even though intents are trained with machine learning algorithms to classify every possible utterance into a defined intent.

Conclusion

The constant growth of eCommerce business shows that the customers’ preference for online shopping is here to stay. While users love to explore their options on the internet and buy what they need without visiting a store, the introduction of voice search has entirely redefined the shopping experience.

Figures show that voice commerce sales will hit $40 billion by 2022. This depicts how voice search will change the future of eCommerce and create opportunities for online retailers. Hence, businesses must actively look for voice search optimization to rank better and augment their digital presence.

Contact Net Solutions to optimize your website based upon voice search

Divya Kaushal

About the Author

Divya is a Senior Business Analyst at Net Solutions. Her interest and experience lie in on-demand and digital education applications. The most crucial part of her work is managing key client relationships and consulting the prospects. She holds expertise in SDLC, Agile processes, user stories, creating prototypes, and testing end-to-end business flows.

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