Not as far as a few years ago it was hard to imagine that artificial intelligence and tools created with its help will be such a popular, commonly used solution. A car driving itself without the support of a human? A vacuum cleaner tidying up the whole apartment when we’re away? Voice assistant substituting a man in customer service? These are just some of the inventions built for our convenient future. The e-commerce branch keeps abreast, too, using voicebots to communicate with clients. Will it turn into voicecommerce with the help of hi-tech, modern voice solutions? Well, the revolution is already happening in front of our eyes.
On the way to voicecommerce
Have you noticed that in the last few years we’ve been choosing the voice communication more willingly than the text one? It turns out that it’s far less tedious, demanding, and time consuming. Just take a look at the growing sales of the Echo smart speaker supported by Alexa – equally intelligent voice assistant. It’s estimated that till 2021 the number of its users will skyrocket from current 500 millions to 1,8 billions. And it’s really impressive!
But let’s focus a little bit on the reality we’re accustomed to right now. It’s difficult to imagine going out without a smartphone. This small but highly functional device has become an inseparable part of our every-day lives. We use it to communicate with our close ones, keep a calendar, pay our bills, shop. And that’s not all – it even helps us open the doors of a Parcel Locker. It’s our navigation, watch, weather information, knowledge base, TV, trainer, dietitian – it’s easy to lose count. And it all comes down to one simple conclusion – voice interfaces operated from our smartphones will be the next milestone in the e-commerce branch development. Ordering products using natural speech is not only faster and more convenient, but also allows us to simultaneously do other things. At last we won’t have to focus on typing everything correctly and worrying that the parcel might get lost because we’ve made a typo.
Voice solutions – let’s take example from the greatest
Business giants such as Microsoft, Google or Amazon have been the leaders of using chatbots, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and voicebots in their services for quite a long time. We can do nothing more than take an example. According to Amazon, at the end of 2016 32% of Echo smart speakers were used for placing orders, and the number grows every year.
Apart from that, voice solutions have a chance of conquering the marketing branch, too. You’re probably familiar with the trend of associating a brand with a particular smell. Companies atomize their stores with characteristic perfumes sensed intensively even from the outside of the shop. They are supposed to be an individual identification of a brand, evoke positive emotions connected with shopping for its products, and attract customers – even from afar. Today, this function is partly performed by the voice logos – short recordings and jingles resembling old American radio commercials in which every tone was of great significance and allowed recognizing a brand by its sound.
How can we target such specific voice logos? The answer is still a bit unclear. For now, they are commonly used in company’s tutorial, informational or strictly commercial videos. Sometimes they are also used as an introduction to a company’s representative’s public speech, e.g. during an industry event. Besides, who doesn’t recall the first sounds of a Christmas Coca-Cola song? For some of us that’s what Christmas sounds like, and the brand almost sits at our family table.
What clients does voicecommerce appeal to?
Using voice solutions won’t work out well with clients who plan a high value purchase. It won’t be used to buy an apartment, a car or an expensive trip – we’d rather see the product personally to make the best decision. Nevertheless, voice will play a crucial role in searching for ideal, low-budget products and shopping with a smartphone or an interactive TV.
Research by Adobe showed that 85% of voice technologies are used via smartphone. However, the number of customers who shop using their voice is still relatively low. Although 52% of consumers claimed that this way of shopping is quicker and more convenient, only 11% admitted to using voice for identification or purchasing products online.
Which e-commerce branches can benefit from using voice solutions?
It’s estimated that shopping with the use of voice will do great in purchasing relatively cheap products bought on a regular basis.
It seems that the most effective branch is grocery which gained 20% of users’ favor. Second place is 19% for entertainment – still quite cheap and possibly bought regularly. The third one is a bit out of frame. It’s electronics with 17% of endorsement, although it doesn’t really offer inexpensive products purchased on a regular basis.
And what about a voice identification used for authorizing an online payment? Which service has, according to the consumers, the highest chance of using the voice technologies most efficiently?
- Ordering food – 35%
- Grocery shopping – 31%
- Taxi charge – 29%
- Purchasing tickets for public transport – 25%
- Purchasing clothes and accessories – 24%
- Purchasing household items – 23%
- Purchasing Christmas and birthday gifts – 22%
- Flight reservation – 18%
- Paying for holidays – 18%
- General office supplies – 17%
- Purchasing furniture and household appliances – 17%
Voicebots on Polish e-commerce market (and more)
Polish consumers didn’t actually have a chance of getting to know the phenomenon of voicecommerce better. Nevertheless, some companies use other voice solutions, e.g. to simplify choosing the best product or contacting the store’s service. All of the brands mentioned below applied a ready-made tool – Google Assistant. And what exactly do they support their customers in? See for yourself.
Polish shoe company invested in a voice assistant which helps filter the products effectively during shopping according to their categories, price, brand, color or specific attributes. The assistant helps in finding the closest CCC store and informs about current promotions, too.
In the future, the company plans on developing the service to allow online shopping with the use of voice commands and a possibility to check the availability of particular products in chosen stores.
If the Frisco grocery store’s customers want to shop using a voice assistant, the company allows them to connect the app with a Google account. Then, after entering the last shopping basket, the assistant reads its content which can be modified with the use of voice – we can delete the products, add new ones, change their number or repeat the whole order. During the process of shopping, the tool informs a client about current promotions. It’s also able to answer 20 most frequently asked questions and help finalize the order. The only thing we have to do after it reads the whole shopping list is to simply accept it.
InPost is an example that voice technologies can be effectively used in transport and logistics, too. By creating an action in Google Assistant, the company allows its users to ask a question about the parcel’s status, location of the nearest Parcel Locker, or courier’s telephone number. The assistant is also useful when we want to locate the parcel in case of a staffed or damaged Parcel Locker and when the package wasn’t picked up within 48 hours.
German net of supermarkets offering consumer electronics chose a voice assistant which helps their customers find a store in the nearest neighbourhood or search through the smartphone category assortment. It’s able to display basic information about products and the purchase process.
The company plans on developing the solutions and providing a function of checking the order status, searching through other product categories, and a possibility of answering a wider range of questions.
E-commerce likes chatbots, too
Voice solutions haven’t totally conquered the e-commerce market yet, but the branch made a common use of chatbots. What’s their purpose?
- They improve the customers’ acquisition, inviting them to a conversation with a chat cloud appearing on the website or the Messenger communicator on Facebook.
- They improve the conversion by personalizing automatic messages on Messenger, offering particular products, using chatbot’s guidelines, and controlling the basket abandonment in Messenger.
- Engaging current customers by post-sales support, a possibility of implementing loyalty programs, and using the content generated by the users.
Voicecommerce – summing up
Although voice solutions probably won’t dominate the e-commerce branch overnight, it’s obvious that they are getting more and more common among various companies – also on the Polish market. Constant digitalization of the industry and customers accustomed to convenient shopping are an effective motivation for a change. To build a competitive advantage over other brands, companies should also consider accessible and helpful customer service, effective technical support, and the possibility of automating the processes responsible for clients’ satisfaction. Voicebots definitely help succeed in this matter.
If you plan on developing your business with voice solutions, we will gladly help you adjust them to your clients’ needs and particular services. Want to know more? Check other articles on our blog or simply give us a call.