How Voice Search and Navigation Will Change the Future of E-commerce

How Voice Search and Navigation Will Change the Future of E-commerce

The popularity of e-commerce is steadily rising, especially in the wake of COVID-19, and retailers are competing to attract the most customers to their online stores. More and more purchases are transitioning to digital, which means the best e-commerce stores will win the game.

How are retailers improving their e-commerce experience? Many are turning to voice search to create a unique and efficient shopping experience for their customers.

In fact, OC&C Strategy Consultants predicts that voice shopping will grow to a $40 billion market by 2022.

Voice-enabled shopping might be a fairly new technology, but it certainly is booming. We’ll cover the basics of voice search, how voice search will help your e-commerce store succeed, and steps to add voice search to your online store.

How voice search began

In today’s digital world, most of us have interacted with a voice chat interface in some way or another.

Voice chat popularity started to boom with cell phones, and it makes sense why. The microphone inside of a smartphone is great for inputting voice commands on-the-go, and mobile devices are powerful enough to house many different voice-enabled features or applications.

As technology continues to advance, more and more platforms are picking up voice search capabilities in unique and unexpected ways.

Voice search does have its limits, however. Amazon Alexa, Siri, and Google Home can process entire sentences, yet many voice platforms are only capable of processing one action at a time. Some may only be able to process a limited set of keywords,

But this is improving!

Natural Language Processing, Natural Language Understanding, and fuzzy keyword matching are evolving quickly, which means voice capability is expanding.

Speakers, televisions, even smart fridges are using voice chat to execute user-inputted commands. Voice chat for e-commerce and online shopping is starting to take center stage as voice platforms evolve.

Why add voice search to e-commerce?

Voice chat is only growing in popularity among consumers, representing a large pool of untapped shopping potential.

According to Oberlo, ⅓ of US users use voice search features and 51% of online shoppers use a voice assistant to help them research products that they intend to purchase.

One reason why we’re seeing increased voice search adoption is because of how much easier it makes the shopping experience. With voice assistance, users are able to quickly perform actions on-the-go or while multitasking. It’s a minimal effort action that yields positive results.

Popularity aside, there are plenty of reasons why voice search for e-commerce benefits both the shopping platform and the shoppers themselves.
Improve the customer experience
Enabling e-commerce voice search provides 24/7 personalized customer service, even if all customer service reps are logged off. This ensures an excellent experience for 3 AM shoppers or during shopping rushes when all of your reps are swamped.

With voice search, online shoppers can ask questions like:

  • Do you sell denim shorts?
  • Is this item available in red?
  • How many inches long is this item in a size medium?

Suddenly, questions that may have prevented a customer from making a purchase can be answered almost instantly. These capabilities are far more powerful than a simple website search bar.

And, of course, customers can add items to their cart with just a simple voice command. You thought two-click purchase flows were efficient? With voice search, your customer can add size 8 black flare jeans to their cart (and pay!) in seconds.

Offer personalized shopping suggestions

Voice search can be used to up-sell or cross-sell items in your e-commerce store. Similar to online stores like Amazon, your e-commerce site can provide suggestions for shoppers making voice-enabled purchases. Are you purchasing a pair of sneakers? You might like these socks, too.

And if you have repeat customers that make weekly or monthly purchases in your store, voice chat can be used to set reminders of their recurring purchases and their frequently bought items.

This creates a highly personalized experience for your customers while also providing an additional element of convenience.

Gain valuable usage insights

Because all voice searches are queried, e-commerce managers gain insights into what customers are searching for the most. This data can be used to improve selling decisions, website layout, promotions, and so much more.

Maybe a significant portion of customers are asking about a product category during the wintertime, but aren’t actually making purchases. Your team can boost promotions of that product to help get sales over the line.

Perhaps you have a sudden influx of customers asking about a specific item. Upon further inspection, you find that the product page is missing important information that’s crucial for buyers.

The possibilities are endless. Voice search data paints a clear picture of customer needs and provides actionable insights on how to improve your e-commerce store.

Add voice search to your e-commerce site

Voice chat is becoming more and more popular, and it won’t be long before all major e-commerce sites have some form of voice search functionality. E-commerce sites without voice search may be passed over by customers looking for a faster shopping experience.

Voice chat platforms like Voicer are easy to add. Simply copy the HTML code, add it to your e-commerce site, and viola! Customers can begin searching and shopping on your site with the power of their voice.

Interested? See how Voicer can improve your e-commerce website with a powerful voice assistant.

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March 1, 2021

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