Let’s Talk About Voice

Let’s Talk About Voice

To see that voice technology is critical for eCommerce, you need only to look at the competition between search giant Google and eCommerce leader Amazon. Both actively promote their compact personal assistant devices, which use voice to facilitate everything from playing music to updating a shopping list. Both brands clearly believe that voice recognition technology is the future of retail, as Amazon and Google both rely on product sales to build their business. But what is voice and what makes it so important?


What Is Voice?


Voice technology, also known as voice recognition or speech recognition, is any technology that is controlled by vocal input. Even without a Google Home or Amazon Echo device, you’ve probably used voice technology in some format. More prevalent examples of voice-based technology include automated phone systems that have you saying certain words, car Bluetooth for hands-free calls, and Apple’s personal assistant, Siri, who answers spoken questions.


Voice recognition for retail and the home, where Google and Amazon focus, are also growing in popularity. Sales of Amazon Alexa-powered devices alone have reached 10 million in sales, showing that consumers, as well as brands, are embracing this technology trend.


Why Voice Is an Important Platform for eCommerce


The rising popularity of voice is just one reason that it represents a huge opportunity for your eCommerce brand. With recognition capabilities and the uses of voice technology increases at a rapid pace, it’s no surprise that this platform is expected to grow dramatically over the next few years. According to ComScore, 50 percent of all searches will be completed by voice by the year 2020, just three years from now.


For retail in particular, voice technology has the additional benefit of simplifying the shopping process. In-person shopping can be a hassle, while online shopping tends to overwhelm with the endless range of options – and the distraction of ads. Voice technology clears the clutter from eCommerce, eliminating the adds and helping customers get to their purchase more quickly and easily.


Voice technology is more convenient for your customers for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, it allows them to accomplish online shopping and other tasks without being tied to a device. In this way, they can update a grocery list or even create a grocery order hands-free while working in the kitchen. Voice also opens technology doorways for those who struggle with traditional computer tasks, such as typing, and is bridging the gap for foreign language speakers. This equates to a wider, more willing audience for your brand.


How To Get the Most from Voice


One of the key ways your eCommerce brand can get the most benefit out of available and coming developments in voice technology is to start using them early. While this more engaging platform is still in its infancy, it is set to become more and more prevalent throughout industries. Now is the time to start experimenting with options in voice and finding the ones that work best for your brand and your customers.


It’s also important to keep the customer first when it comes to your application of voice-activated technology, searches and shopping. Because of the more personal nature of speech, voice can be a great way to increase engagement and build better customer relationships. For example, you can gather more information on your loyal customers to better understand their experience – and you can also provide the kind of immediate answers and customer support that your buyers expect.


Voice appears to be the next frontier in many fields, as brands in a wide variety of industries rush to use it in effective ways. In a field like eCommerce, where customers are looking for instant answers and a quick purchase, voice technology is the perfect way to improve and build your customer base and your sales.


December 4, 2017