Did you know? According to recent Google statistics, approximately 41% of adults and 55% of teen internet users use voice search every day. Similar research by Apple reveals that more than 500 million users turn to Siri for a wide range of applications. What’s more? E-Commerce voice search alone has generated about $1.8 billion via Amazon revenue. If experts are to be believed, this figure can reach $40 billion by the year 2022!
These findings are just a glimpse of how rapidly internet users are vocalizing their queries online. If you are looking forward to placing your business before such a consumer base, you need to keep up with the trends that they are setting. But before that, let’s delve into a better understanding of voice search and the possibilities that come with it.
The Rise of Voice Search and Why it is Crucial for E-Commerce
As technology gets smarter, it also gets more popular. This can work the other way as well. When technology begins getting popular, it has to be upgraded to a smarter version. No wonder, digital assistants are now residing right in your pockets now either in the form of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Echo or Google Home. But why this sudden rise in the use of artificial intelligence in general and voice search in particular?
The changing psychology of internet users, their lack of patience and the need for speed has pushed in the trend of conversational searches to the top.
- The present-day internet users are looking for prompt and accurate answers.
- Instead of multiple options, they seek one answer that is informative, short and yet, reliable.
- They enjoy the conversational aspect of voice search.
In order to strengthen your presence online, you need to ensure that your content has all of the above traits. And if you are in the e-commerce industry, voice search has huge potential to put you one step ahead of the competition.
- Retailers are investing in mobile
Mobile apps today have become a customer’s need of the hour. They enjoy the ease of browsing, the endless options, fascinating offers and the joy of online shopping more than they ever did. Retailers have long realized this and have been focusing on improving customer experience on e-commerce apps. In that case, leaving voice search out of your strategy could be a huge mistake. One, voice search is trending and customers might be more attracted to an e-commerce business that offers voice search within their app. Two, going mobile is all about speed and ease while on-the-go. The latter can be achieved via voice search in more ways than one.
- Brands are boosting engagement using voice search
As hinted earlier, voice search can have unlimited possibilities and creative marketing minds will always think of a way to explore them. One example is the use of voice search to boost customer engagement and brand awareness at the same time. Visual voice browsing experiences, personalized shopping suggestions, voice ordering systems, and voice-activated videos within an app are just a few successful examples where global brands have created their unique voice utilizing the trendiest “search” technology today.
Voice search is a paradigm shift in the way we communicate with the world around us. Using the same in innovative campaigns and enhanced user experiences can help enhance brand reputation and revenue for the e-commerce industry.
How to Optimize your E-Commerce Site for Voice Search
Now that you understand the reason why voice search is important for you as an e-commerce business, let’s take a look at how you can tap into the voice-search potential.
- Aim to be the Featured Snippet on Google
Also known as position zero, the featured snippet section on Google is the key driving factor in voice search. So, if your website content serves as the one perfect answer for common voice search queries, Google will pick it up and place it on top of the search results.
Benefit? The best visibility online, more traffic to your site and a stronger customer base.
As an e-commerce merchant, you should structure your web content in a way that it answers most of the common search queries related to your niche. At the same time, you need to ensure that the language is natural. Focusing on long-tail keywords is key and you need to remember that the tone of your content is always conversational.
- Think Local
Mobile voice searches are thrice more likely to be locally-based in comparison to text-based searches. This is a great opportunity for you to reach your local target market directly. Once you can crack the local market, it gets easier to scale your strategies beyond borders.
If your voice search features are also optimized for local searches, you would draw more traffic to your brick and mortar stores as well. You can craft content to answer queries like “Where to buy quality chocolate near me?” or “Find gardening services in my city”. Or you could create store locator pages that have a higher chance of bagging position zero.
- Focus on Emerging User Journey
You can make use of tools like Google’s voice search metrics to monitor and analyze a voice searcher’s behavior on your site. You can use this information to plan an ideal user journey, one that would boost your conversion rate. Pay close attention to points where carts are abandoned or at what point a user abandons the site altogether. You can then work on removing this friction and improving your chances of converting voice search queries into purchases.
Always remember that voice search is more of a conversation. In order to keep a user interested in that conversation, you have to think out of the box. The key is to understand your customer well, defining your target audience logically and making the customer journey a primary part of your marketing strategy.
- Take a Semantic Strategy into Consideration
Sometimes, especially when dealing with voice search strategies for e-commerce, a keyword-based strategy is not enough. You have to make use of semantics parallel to that. It is all about taking into account the context of a searcher’s query so that responses are more human-like rather than mechanical. This can be done by programming algorithms to carry out functions such as concept match, shopping predictions, shopping suggestions and so on.
- Stay Natural
This cannot be stressed enough. Voice search queries are very different from their type-search counterparts. There is a surprising behavioral shift when we interact with devices using voice search. It is as if the user treats the device like a human being and not a mere gadget. As an e-commerce business, it is crucial for you to understand and monetize this tendency. Linguistic patterns, conversational tones, and understanding pain points are the key factors to keep in mind here.
Your content should be structured in a way that answers the most common questions clearly, concisely and in a natural way. That is how you come across as reliable and authentic to the searcher.
Voice search is not a fad or some shiny new technology that would go redundant soon. It is increasingly becoming an important part of internet users’ lives. Transforming the way search engines are used, voice search can have a major impact on how e-commerce websites are browsed too. As technology improves and AI gets smarter, big players will continue to invest in this area. And that means, plenty of scope for your growth. When you are truly able to optimize the potential of voice search, it would become easier for you to outrank your competition.
Author Bio –
Shaun is the director of Virtual Employee Private Limited, remote staffing & tech MNC, and is responsible for leading a team of more than 1200 experts from domains like IT, Content Creation, Digital Marketing, Designing. A law graduate from Brunel University, Shaun has been instrumental in creating a business model that is increasingly being seen by industry peers as a model for new organizations in the tech outsourcing domain.