The continuous growth of e-commerce businesses like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon is a clear indication that the consumers’ preference for online shopping is here to stay. Consumers love to explore their options and buy what they need without physically visiting a store. But the emergence of voice-activated devices and voice search is redefining how shopping is done.
Today, more shoppers than ever before are actively using digital assistants and voice-activated devices like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The two companies have so far sold more than 27 million devices in the U.S. alone. Apple’s Siri, on the other hand, has over 500 million users throughout the world. Besides the widespread usage of voice-activated devices, consumers are developing a high level of comfort and trust towards them.
Voice shopping statistics show that voice commerce sales are expected to hit the $40 billion mark by 2022, with voice searches accounting for 50 percent of all searches by 2020. Although this leap in technology is interesting for users, it has become a crucial defining moment for retailers and brands that view themselves as digitally smart. Here are 5 ways in which voice search is changing the future of shopping.
1. Voice Search Makes Online Shopping Stress-free and More Personalized
Voice search streamlines online shopping and makes it more personalized by customizing recommendations and search results to suit the unique needs of the user. For instance, if you want to buy groceries through a site like Amazon Fresh, you can inform Alexa regarding your special dietary needs, and the system would automatically recommend and include items that suit your specific needs to the cart. What’s more, there are several e-commerce online shops that offer all kinds of products from elegant suits, furniture, to home appliances. This means you can get everything that you need from just one online shop.
2. It Saves Time
We usually speak faster than we type, meaning voice search is the fastest modality. For instance, in 2018, the UK-based Virgins Trains introduced an Alexa skill that allows clients to book train tickets via Alexa. It brings down the average online booking time from 7 minutes to 2 minutes through voice. The possibility of saving time is something that usually excites customers.
3. It Encourages Repeat Customers
By saving past history, voice search makes reordering a hassle-free task, especially for repeat customers. For instance, you may easily instruct your digital assistant to add to the cart the same book or soap that you bought last time.
4. It Makes Reviews more Meaningful and Leaving Them Easier
Thanks to voice search, leaving reviews has become effortless for customers. What’s more, reviews have become more meaningful than ever before. Instead of going through the traditional process of logging in and typing out a review, your device may just ask you to rate the product you ordered based on how you like it.
This is extremely essential as far as voice shopping is involved. In fact, about 85 percent of voice shoppers trust the recommendations offered to them by their digital assistants. Products with great reviews usually appear top on the list of voice search results, so they are easily spotted by voice shoppers. Those with negative reviews have a poor ranking and have a high risk of not being spotted by voice shoppers.
5. It’s Frictionless
Regardless of how user-friendly you make your app or website, regardless of how effective your conversion rate is, you’re constantly struggling with the friction that’s within the device itself. Just think about this, for a user to gain access into their amazingly optimized app, they have to:
- Take out their smartphone
- Unlock it
- Swipe it to locate their app
- Tap to start it up
- Wait for a while for it to load
They can only enjoy the wonderful experience that the app has to offer after completing all the above steps. But with voice search, there are fewer bridges to cross in order to commence the shopping experience. All is needed is just an utterance.
Voice search is undoubtedly changing the future of shopping and creating many opportunities for online retailers. Retail businesses that need to rank better on local voice search must adopt localization strategies. Such businesses must seek professional translation services to help them strengthen their digital presence.
Sarah Morris is a business advisor for several companies in the Arkansas region, and also provides Press Release Translation and PR consulting. She has experience working in a range of industries and providing technical support in topics such as business growth, market expansion, and product development.