Voice commerce is about enabling your customers to make purchases using just voice commands, with the help of digital voice assistants. These are primarily found on smartphones and smart speakers, with the most popular being Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri.
Many people already use these assistants to check the weather, turn on the lights, or to play music, but moving beyond these simple tasks and expanding into the eCommerce realm is tipped to be one of the most significant trends of 2021.
Research from Statista released last month found: “In 2020, there will be 4.2 billion digital voice assistants being used in devices around the world. Forecasts suggest that by 2024, the number of digital voice assistants will reach 8.4 billion units – a number higher than the world’s population… Virtual assistants have become a key component of the smart device industry, being absolutely integral to the way that consumers interact with their devices.”
Improvements in voice recognition software and artificial intelligence have matched the proliferation of digital voice assistants, enabling customers to enjoy a shopping experience more akin to a conversation with a dedicated salesperson. Without having to use a keyboard, mouse or screen, customers can ask questions to find product information, check availability and pricing, and place an order.
Just as online shopping, and then mobile shopping, were significant steps forward in the retail experience, voice commerce is the next phase. Ultimately for any retailer, the goal is to remove barriers to purchase. Providing an engaging and quicker customer experience through voice commerce helps this.
As with all emerging technologies, there are challenges faced by voice commerce: adoption will be slow, particularly amongst older customers; customers are used to buying through increasingly visual, image and video driven, interfaces; voice recognition software favours certain languages, dialects and accents; and the voice assistant applications themselves are in the early stages of development.
The software will improve over time, and the adoption of innovation always has its laggards, but this will not stop voice commerce from becoming an essential complement to online and mobile shopping. In practical terms, the biggest hurdle for your business in implementing voice commerce is how committed you are to making it work. There are various software integrations that The Playhouse Group can implement to make your shop voice commerce ready, or we can create a customised solution for you.
Importantly, voice commerce needs to be a sales channel that integrates as part of an omnichannel approach, and should be used in concert with online, mobile and even instore to provide the best customer experience. Voice commerce is best for repeat orders, where customer trust and expectation is already established and the time saving most evident.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, these were rapidly evolving times. To ensure you are best positioned to take advantage of the acceleration of adoption of online shopping, and to stay at the forefront of the latest trends and technologies, such as voice commerce, click the button below to set up an obligation-free consultation with The Playhouse Group.
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With decades of experience and as a certified Magento partner, The Playhouse Group can help your business maximise its online sales capabilities. Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any other other eCommerce questions you may have.