Voice Commerce: The future of online trading?
"Alexa, order me black socks." "Hey Siri, I need new kitchen towels." What initially sounded utopian has long since arrived in reality. Language assistants such as Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Co. have already proven themselves in many areas of life - they network the home, make it more intelligent and provide information about the weather or the current traffic situation.
In the future, they will also become more important when it comes to shopping. In this way, consumers have the option of finding the right product by shouting, buying it if necessary, or searching the customer account for previous orders. Another point of contact is created between dealers and customers and thus an additional step in the customer journey that e-commerce has to adapt to. The language assistants bring the retailer into the customer's home, so to speak, and offer a wide range of possibilities - in addition to sales, also for branding, service and marketing.
However, the conventional shopping experience is not completely turned on its head, but is supplemented by a significant convenience factor through voice search. Smart speakers, such as those from Google or Amazon, are not the only devices that can be used for shopping via voice search. Today, every smartphone has a voice assistant that can be used to control the device using simple voice commands. In addition, language assistants are becoming more and more accurate and targeted, which greatly accelerates and simplifies the purchasing process.
Due to the many advantages, completing a purchase by voice command will become the norm by 2030. This forecast comes from the study "Beyond Touch - Voice Commerce 2030", for which Deloitte, together with Google and the German Retail Association (HDE), launched workshops for wholesalers to examine the potential of voice commerce. The experts assume that voice commerce will account for between 26 and 37 percent of e-commerce sales in Europe by 2030. Due to its user-friendliness, consumers will use the voice assistant intuitively and will expect this function from retailers. In the future, however, it will be crucial for the success of an online retailer to offer customers real added value through voice search. This is the only way to break through the long-learned shopping behavior of consumers and benefit from the additional contact point.
Despite everything, shopping in stationary and traditional online retailing remains of great importance. It is important to find ways to connect the different channels in a meaningful way and to draw the greatest possible benefit from each for your own company. Online retailers should develop a strategy that is individually tailored to their own needs and expand the functionality of their web shop to include voice search at an early stage. In this way, they can use the potential and turn the point of contact into a productive sales channel. Because the study makes one thing particularly clear: the market for voice assistants will continue to grow and will increasingly support salespeople in the future.
Expanding the existing online shop to include voice search is not a mammoth task. Existing content can be easily optimized and, with well-structured data, can be read by search engines after just a few interventions. For example, an exact recognition of product features must be guaranteed. It is also important to switch to full sentences for texts and descriptions instead of short keywords as usual. After all, consumers don't just speak in keywords, but usually ask the language assistant a complete question. In addition to optimizing the content, it is worth entering the company in listings. Google obtains a great deal of information from these.
But if you don't just want to play pie in the sky, but want to enter the voice commerce era in the near future, you should integrate a buy-it-again function into the online shop. This gives consumers the opportunity to repurchase a product they have already bought using a voice command, without having to speak cumbersome item details. This works particularly well for fast-moving consumer goods, i.e. everyday items such as batteries, hygiene items or groceries. Now only the appropriate interfaces to voice assistants have to be created - both the retailer and the consumer can benefit from the convenience of voice commerce.