E-commerce has completely changed the way the market used to work and has jumped in quickly upon the screens of customers. Going a step further and making our lives even simpler, voice-controlled search is coming up as the next big thing in our modern-day world.
Devices and software like Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s Bixby, and Microsoft’s Cortana are just a few examples of some wonderful platforms that are highly capable of handling tasks effectively. With just your voice you can hail a cab, call a friend, send a message, play songs, and now participate in e-commerce trade.
These features are gaining popularity and are making way for a life based on technology. According to Think with Google, 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that these devices are used as part of their daily routine.
Importance of Voice Search in E-Commerce
What is so unique about voice search that gives it the ability to impact e-commerce significantly? Is it just a feature or a game-changer for the market? For whom and how is it going to be a benefit?
Let’s talk more about how voice search features are going to affect e-commerce businesses and how can it be utilized to get the maximum benefits.
Brand Visibility Will Fade Away
With voice technology, branding won’t be entirely visual anymore. Brands will be both seen and heard. People have perceptions of brands set up in their minds, and marketing is based on building the perception of a product for its customers to scale and grow.
Maggi is not just a Nestle product anymore; it built its market so effectively that the whole category got popular, just upon the name of a single product.
The same happens when you call out a name and get results for your query using the voice search feature. The most popular and synonymous brands are going to list higher than all other products in the same category.
This makes it important for your brand to focus on the core and crux of marketing to fetch better business. The aspects of marketing at this phase have to be understood and dealt with care and thus, needs to be emphasized when it comes to voice search.
According to a report by IDC, a total of 753,000 units of Smart Speakers were shipped in 2018 in India.
Although the products built with the smart voice feature is new and young in India, its immense popularity is gaining quickly. This means that it’s getting more important for brands to work on their marketing strategies based on voice search.
Voice Search Is Intelligent
Voice search features are not just about the voice; it is an extension of AI and is one of the most initial introductions of machine learning in the market.
Its algorithm is smart enough to know and learn about your habits and needs. When it understands that you ran out of coffee beans in a month, it will automatically suggest to you while shopping online to add a packet of coffee beans to the cart.
This will change the dimensions of customer relationship management and will help marketers target the customers based on their impulse and susceptibility.
Data collected through this smart feature can also help brands learn more about their customers, which will enhance the intricacies of marketing.
One thing that still needs to be focused upon is how voice search is normally being used in e-commerce situations. Voice search is commonly used by buyers to reorder certain products or purchase inexpensive items.
However, it should be noted that relying completely on voice search is still not feasible and fosters the concern of lack of trust that many people still have with artificial intelligence.
Voice Search is Better Than You Are
Accept it or not, voice search is quicker and more efficient than you are when it comes to typing. The average person types at a speed of about 30 to 35 words per minute, but a voice search feature may enable you to process an average of about 100 words per minute.
This makes voice search features faster to work with automatically, helping you fetch your desired products out of the huge market easily and instantly.
You even have to use your hands and type upon a keypad or screen. Instead, voice search lets you speak what you want and get results fast. This means you can go shopping while you’re washing dishes, driving, or cooking. Voice search is widely regarded to be more convenient and easier to use than any other form of search.
However, service providers have been continuously claiming to enhance the accuracy of the virtual voice assistants. It will be a big challenge to make these assistants great enough to feel completely human to customers, so further development is necessary.
Voice search-enabled devices come packaged with a number of interesting and useful things that a customer may spend time with more than anything else. So, why would the customer not use it for shopping too?
People spend most of their time with their smart devices and smartphones. Voice search makes it even easier for them to navigate around and use their devices for multiple things at the same time.
Privacy concerns, however, have been a considerable point of contention for users of the feature.
The Game Called Marketing
The game called marketing is quickly evolving alongside technology’s progress. With the induction of the voice search feature, marketing is expected to change significantly.
Brands have to be focused on the aspects which are new and haven’t been familiar.
- Marketing will be based upon the perception and popularity of names in the market.
- More than the usage of words (SEO, keywords, meta-tags), their existing relationship with a product will decide their prominence among customers. Optimizing content for voice search will be a critical step.
- Brands will need to shift their marketing focus to capturing customer’s ears, rather than their eyes.
- Voice search, naturally, relies on language. In a country like India with so many different regional languages, it’s going to be a real adventure for marketers to reach out to different segments of the market.
How Are Brands Responding To Smart Voice Search?
Amazon’s Alexa has gained a huge market share when it comes to voice search. Google Home is not lagging behind by much and is observing a continuously growing trend in its customer base.
Google has even worked significantly on its voice search accuracy and claims to have increased it from 80% to 90% accurate recognition. A few leading brands have already applied voice recognition and search features to their product line-ups in unique and effective ways.
- Nestle has initiated a cookbook feature in compliance with voice search. The online cookbook provides instructions and assistance to the questions and queries asked while cooking.
- Domino’s has started taking its orders via voice operated customer interface systems.
- Johnnie Walker has taken the voice search feature to an advanced level where the brand suggests its customers the product most suitable for them through conversations with a virtual assistant.
The Future of E-commerce
The user-base of voice search has been observed to be constantly growing and expanding. Grocery shopping registers a rate of more than 20% of voice-based orders. According to one report, voice search-based shopping is predicted to jump to $40 Billion in 2022.
The US has already become accustomed to a high market dependence upon this new smart feature, and other nations are catching up quickly. A research study by Comscore suggests that 50% of all online searches will be voice-based by 2020!
In this current market of voice search expansion, no brand wants to get left behind. Marketing is expected to take a turn away from the traditional methods; products will not just be seen, but also heard differently than ever before.
E-commerce platforms have already been optimizing their portals to get themselves ready for the transition. By optimizing for voice search with built-in SEO tools, online merchants can take advantage of the changes being made to search engines.
A study by Gartner even suggests that 30% of online searches by 2020 won’t even use screens for their queries. That would be an industry-changing scenario that would create a completely transitioned market.
Artificial intelligence and smart features are yet to take over internet browsing and online shopping, and voice search is just the beginning.