Shoppers don’t want to type if they can just talk

Brands must engage with customers through voice assistants
25 September 2018

Customers are increasingly using voice to do everything, including shopping. Source: Shutterstock

Smart voice assistants have come a long way since Apple first introduced Siri back in 2011.

Today, voice assistants can perform various functions, and live on various platforms from smartphones to smart speakers.

As voice assistants evolve, so does consumer behavior. The increase in demand for voice technology means brands, especially for retailers, must now engage with their audience through voice channels.

Voice assistants provide an added level of convenience and speed to consumers. According to estimates by Business Insider Intelligence, around six percent of adults in the US have used voice shopping. This figure is expected to reach nearly 50 percent by 2023.

Retailers that take advantage of consumer’s demand for voice technology will be able to provide better customer engagement, increase conversion times, drive sales, and boost operational efficiency.

Business Insider Intelligence’s study detailed that shoppers today are using voice assistants throughout the product buying cycle.

This includes product search and discovery, purchasing, as well as post-purchase processes such as customer service and checking delivery status.

Additionally, the report showed that more than 70 percent of consumers prefer to use voice assistants to search for something online, instead of physically typing. Amongst them, nearly half are using voice to search for products on a daily basis.

There are three key ways retailers can use voice technology to drive engagement and boost their businesses.

Driving product purchases

Voice technology allows customers to easily make a purchase when they are unable to use their hands. This makes spending faster, which will drive sales for the company.

In addition, voice assistants add a touch of personalized, intelligent elements to the shopping experience, which is crucial for simplifying the transition from product discovery to purchase.

Heightening customer loyalty

Brands can improve customer loyalty with the help of voice assistants as well, especially in the post-purchase phase.

Businesses can use voice assistants to help users track the delivery status of packages and automate part of the return process.

It can also help connect users with a customer service representative, offer feedback, and collect consumer behavioral and transactional data.

Shifting spending behaviors

As smart devices become mainstream, consumers will gradually move into using and owning connected cars, smart home devices and appliances, and connected virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) headsets.

This will in turn change behavior and encourage further use of voice assistants.