Voice technology holds much promise for the online retail market. Most industry experts, e-commerce executives, and even consumers see voice-enabled shopping could transform the way businesses sell and consumers buy products. Major key players like Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and others are driving the voice shopping market with devices like smart speakers. Voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google voice assistant, among others allow customers to explore, inquire and shop products they want just by voice.
Amazon and Google are the companies leading the rapid shift towards this new ecosystem where it only takes voice commands to query for a specific product and even purchase it without any delay. Currently, Amazon sits at the top with 25,000 available skills, actions that Alexa can perform. The Amazon device is also able to meow, tell jokes or even give wisdom.
In a report by OC&C Strategy Consultants, voice shopping will worth US$40 billion by 2022. The company’s survey found that the growth in the voice assistant and voice AI adoption will be driven by a surge in smart speakers, like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Microsoft Cortana, with a rising sales to 55 percent from 13 percent in 2018.
However, the adoption of smart speakers is not nearly as high as it once predicted. A report from eMarketer expected that 21.6 million people will have made a purchase using a smart speaker by the end of 2020. This estimation is lower than the company’s second-quarter of 2019 projection of 23.6 million consumers.
Despite this, the competitive edge to lead the market is on high. Reports suggest that Amazon Echo has a slight initial edge on Google Home in the retail space as it has access to Amazon’s vast marketplace. On the other hand, Google has fought to be competitive, collaborating with the likes of Walmart, Target and Ocado in order to offer its customers the option of Voice Commerce.
Voice Tech to Drive Consumer Experience
Today, the world of consumer products platform is on the cusp of voice-enabled technology. Nearly 33 percent of customers surveyed by the Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute reported using a voice assistant to purchase everyday goods. Shoppers are currently so used to seeing a product online before purchasing that they are bound to and be uncomfortable buying anything they don’t buy on a regular basis with voice.
Thus, to effectively drive voice commerce, the user experience of these technologies needs to improve and security concerns must be addressed. The widespread adoption of smart speakers among customers also demands online retail brands to leverage voice technology with security concerns in order to drive superior customer experience.
With the rapid increase in the use of smartphones, voice shopping is becoming the latest trend shaping the future of mobile commerce. Moreover, customers now expect the convenience and speed of asking Alexa, for instance, to complete their purchase in every mobile shopping interaction. This extensive transition and demand have led retailers to rise to the occasion to meet these expectations.