The continuous growth of e-commerce businesses like eBay, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, and Amazon indicates 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 actively use digital assistants and voice-activated devices like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. The usage of smart speakers in the US is growing every passing year, with a jump from 12.5 to 28 percent in 2018, then 35 percent in 2019, and this number is projected to reach 75 percent in 2025. According to NPR and Edison Research, there are approximately 157 million smart speakers in US households today
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 exciting for users, it has become a crucial defining moment for retailers and brands that view themselves as digitally smart. Another report published by Voicebot and Voicify in 2019 regarding the US Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report increased by 66.4 million U.S.-based smart speaker owners in 2018, meaning 26.2% of all US adults have access to a smart speaker.
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 user’s unique needs. For instance, if you want to buy groceries through a site like Amazon Fresh, you can inform Alexa regarding your special dietary needs. The system would automatically recommend and include items that suit your specific needs in the cart. What’s more, several e-commerce online shops 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.
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. So this is how it works. You want to buy your girlfriend a personalized ring, and instead of wasting time to type and try to search, it gives you options and recommendations immediately.
It Encourages Repeat Customers
By saving history, voice search makes reordering a hassle-free task, especially for repeat customers. You may easily instruct your digital assistant to add to the cart the same book or soap you bought last time.
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 logging process and typing out a review, your device may ask you to rate the product you ordered based on how you like it.
This is essential as far as voice shopping is involved. 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 an unsatisfactory ranking and have a high risk of not being detected by voice shoppers.
Regardless of how user-friendly you make your app or website, you’re always struggling with the friction within the device itself, irrespective of how effective your conversion rate is. Just think about this, for a user to gain access to their amazingly optimized app, they have to:
- Take out their smartphone
- Unlock it
- Swipe it to locate their app
- Tap to start it up
- Please wait for a while for it to load
They can only enjoy the enjoyable experience that the app offers after completing all the above steps. But with voice search, there are fewer bridges to cross to commence the shopping experience. All that 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 companies must seek professional localization services to help them strengthen their digital presence.