By Olga Ezzheva
Moving full steam ahead, global eCommerce is set to dominate the retail landscape by 2022. And we totally get it — shopping doesn’t get more convenient than making purchases from the comfort of your own home. Or does it?
Voice-based commerce, or voice shopping, takes convenience to another level by streamlining the whole experience into a dynamic, hands-free interaction. Users can actually purchase goods and products while doing other activities.
Underpinning screenless commerce are voice-activated assistants, the market for which is really taking off and expected to hit 200 mln units this year. At the same time, stats reveal that at least 25% of consumers who own a smart speaker have used it for purchases. The numbers are even higher for younger generations — 45% of millennials use voice assistants while shopping.
As the voice-first technology is gradually finding its way into our daily life, it’s about time your eCommerce business took notice of the new opportunities with voice shopping and turn them into a competitive advantage.
Leverage the Popularity of Smart Speakers
Smartphones were once in the spotlight but now smart speakers might be stealing the show. In the US alone, nearly a quarter of households now own a smart speaker, and the number is expected to skyrocket to 75% by 2025. And global brands are already tapping into the new digital channel to increase their online presence and boost sales.
Domino’s developed an Alexa skill to make pizza ordering even easier. By simply saying “Alexa, ask Domino’s to feed me,” your Easy Order will be on its way. The retail behemoth Walmart has recently introduced voice ordering for its online grocery service through Google Assistant.
You can follow the pack and set up Google Shopping Actions to enable your customers to seamlessly shop with Assistant on expanding Google surfaces. Amazon too pushes to expand Alexa capabilities and encourages developers to build custom Alexa Skills in a variety of categories.
Add Voice Control to Your eCommerce App
Another way to keep up with the latest in the industry is to incorporate voice recognition into your eCommerce development project. A new communication channel will supercharge user engagement and set your brand apart from the competition.
To test the waters, you can add voice search to your eCommerce portal by leveraging speech recognition APIs like Web Speech API supported by Chrome and Firefox. With just a few lines of code, you’ll significantly increase your store accessibility and streamline the entire shopping experience.
If you are ready to dive deeper, integrate a powerful voice-activated chatbot for superior customer service. Just like Alexa and Google Assistant, these chatbots rely on natural language processing to make sense of a user’s input and support natural conversational flow. Underpinned by advanced ML, voice-enabled digital assistants can win your customers’ loyalty with hyper-personalized recommendations and targeted offers — an opportunity too good to pass on.
Giving voice to your eCommerce app can be a powerful move but it requires a well-thought-out approach. What voice do you want your brand to associate with? What words and phrases should your chatbot use to sound relevant to your customers? These are the questions worth asking since you are creating a voice identity of your business.
Optimize Your eCommerce Store for Voice Search
When creating a voice-enabled shopping experience, keep in mind that voice-based interactions are different. Speaking requires much less effort than typing, so we tend to form our search inquiries as full meaningful phrases. Incorporating long-tail keywords into your content becomes a must to improve its searchability.
Another tip is to optimize your content for FAQs. Being curious by nature, we often voice our queries as questions. Just google what you are trying to market to your consumers and see the People Also Ask section — chances are you’ll find “what,” “when,” “why” and “how.” Having these questions covered on your blog will increase your chances for better ranking in voice search.
Particularly useful for voice search are featured snippets. Also known as “position zero,” featured snippets are the highest ranking spots, hence, the most coveted ones. These snippets are the first thing that users usually see after typing in a query, and digital assistants absolutely love to read them out loud. In fact, featured snippets account for 40.7% of voice search answers. To get your content into a user’s ears, make sure it is snippable — properly structured and provides concise, informative answers rich with conversational keywords.
Future-Proof Your eCommerce Business
Backed by hefty investments from tech giants, the voice space is rapidly evolving and touted to become the next big platform for consumers. Voice-enabled commerce promises less friction and more engagement driving the entire shopping experience to a new level — and early adopters can win big.