Smart technology is continuously advancing, with the global smart home market set to reach a value of over $53 billion by 2022.
In the past few years specifically, we’ve seen the rise of voice assistants. Voice assistants like Alexa are now a common smart device in the average home and were one of the most talked about products at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show. But, where do they stand when it comes to voice commerce?
At present, voice commerce is still a relatively unused concept, but it’s growing fast – with voice-activated orders on Alexa tripling from 2017 to 2018. Yes, the majority of consumers still don’t use their voice assistants to buy products online. However, that could change in the future…
What is voice commerce?
People who use voice assistants often use them to save time. In a busy world, these voice devices can make life that much easier. The same principle applies to voice commerce. Voice assistants make the online shopping experience more convenient and less time consuming for consumers.
Instead of having to type keywords into a search engine to find the products they’re looking for, users simply use their voice to describe the product to the voice assistant. They can be shopping while cooking a meal or doing housework, for instance.
In order to use voice commerce, people need to have a mobile device or smart speaker with a virtual assistant, like Alexa or Google Assistant. Like most other technologies that catch on, voice commerce is beginning to provide a faster, more convenient way for consumers to get what they need. After all, time is money.
Voice commerce as it stands
As it stands, voice assistants are still not used in enough homes for them to make a significant impact to the ecommerce industry. Voice commerce is yet to reach its peak because people are still not using voice assistants on a regular basis.
Part of the reason for this could be trust-based, with the news of brands like Amazon and Google listening to voice recordings. In the last year, reports have suggested that the companies have been using people’s private recordings for their own gain. However, in the last few months, Amazon and Google have stated that they no longer allow human reviews of recordings.
Right now, only 22% of voice assistant owners use their devices for shopping but that number is set to rise by 2020. People who already own Amazon Echo or Google Home devices become so accustomed to having the help of a virtual assistant that they wouldn’t go back to before they used one.
Although voice assistants have had a slow introduction, things are set to drastically change within the next few years. So, what does the future look like for voice commerce?
Will voice commerce ever catch on?
According to a study by Sumo Heavy in 2016, the reasons behind the rise of voice commerce are clear. Using voice commerce eliminates problems like slow loading pages, broken links and error pages. Voice assistants can find results for the searches required in record time, without shoppers having to go through the hassle that searching themselves often results in.
It’s predicted that by 2022, many people will be comfortable with shopping without a screen. This indicates that the rise in voice commerce will reach new and significant heights. When people realise that shopping without having to look at a website is often easier, voice commerce will become the new norm.
Adapting to the changing landscape
It’s inevitable that voice commerce will make a huge leap in the next few years, but what does that mean for ecommerce businesses?
Firstly, when voice commerce is used, it will change the way that consumers shop. The way their choices are presented to them will be different to traditional online shopping.
Similarly, brands will need to think about the way they stimulate their customers into buying products. Marketing strategies will need to be reimagined in order to target customers in the right way. Voice commerce will require brand identities to be adapted and built around voice assistance.
Voice commerce will also change the way businesses collect data from consumers. Brands will have no choice but to invest in machine learning in order to build clear customer profiles. This type of data collection will also have a hand in predicting the way consumers behave and what products they’re likely to be interested in next. The better equipped a business is to offer a consumer what they want and need, the more likely they are to return.
For many businesses, this will be a huge undertaking. That’s why it’s better to prepare for these changes now than wait for them to happen. When it comes to re-building a brand, it’s better to get professional help with brand development. The last thing any business wants to find is that they’re missing a piece of the pie because they’re unprepared for change.
Taking advantage of voice commerce
Although the changes that voice commerce will bring for online stores can seem daunting, there is also huge potential for opportunity. With this new method of communication comes new ways of engaging and intriguing current and potential customers. Businesses have the potential to serve their customers their products on a plate.
This new world of commerce could be bigger and better than imagined. It also has the potential to even playing field between small and big businesses, as long as small businesses keep up with the technology advances.
Get ready for voice commerce
Are you ready for voice commerce? Whether a consumer or a business, you’ll only really take advantage of voice commerce if you’re ready to embrace it. Voice ecommerce represents a type of convenience that hasn’t been available to consumers before, so it goes without saying that things are certainly about to change.
Read More: The Pros & Cons of E-commerce Mobile Apps
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