Voice commerce is the hottest trend in e-commerce nowadays and many call it the evolution of e-commerce as we know it. As customers flock to the web to purchase everything, from clothes to groceries brick-and-mortar stores face stiff even stiffer competition from online commerce. In fact, eCommerce sales are growing at about 15% year over year while brick-and-mortar is at less than 2% growth rate, which might as well be a standstill. COVID-19 has exacerbated this already well-documented trend. If brick-and-mortar went from almost standstill to actual standstill then digital commerce grew exponentially. Take Target, for example, their brick-and-mortar sales were almost nonexistent because of COVID-19 but their online sales grew by 275% during the pandemic. Services like same-day delivery are making the shift to e-commerce a no-brainer for the masses.
However, eCommerce is yesterday’s revolution. If we learned one thing from COVID-19 it’s that companies that innovate not just to accommodate industry trends but predict them will not only survive but be tomorrow’s market leaders. With over 8 billion voice assistants projected to be in use worldwide by 2023, and over 51% of voice assistant users using them for online shopping, the next revolution is voice commerce.
So What is Voice Commerce?
Quite simply, voice commerce is the ability to purchase things online using just your voice and a compatible smart device, such as your phone, tablet, or smart speaker (connected to the internet).
Just like you check the weather with Siri, you can browse an online store’s entire catalog, ask questions, get product ratings, check their availability and pricing, and place your order – all without having to browse the web or stopping to use your phone or tablet with both hands.
Voice commerce is conversational commerce at its simplest, and the experience is much like having a dedicated salesperson guide you through your entire purchase journey.
Large eCommerce brands, such as Walmart, are already leading the way in implementing voice shopping solutions. However, most of the industry has still not addressed this booming market.
How Does Voice Commerce Work?
You’re probably familiar with voice assistants, especially Siri, which was Apple’s take on a voice commands solution.
Voice recognition is not a new technology and can be traced back to 1961. Later, as voice recognition was integrated with smartphone operating systems, voice commands were used for the most basic of tasks, such as making calls, sending texts, checking the weather, and so on. Today, they can be used for more complex activities, such as interacting with your smart home setup, finding directions to the nearest restaurant, or getting the latest scores on your favorite game.
With voice recognition processing becoming more powerful, we’re witnessing the rising popularity of smart speakers, like Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod, all of which use voice recognition technology to process voice commands.
Voice commerce makes use of advancements in voice recognition and leverages interfacing apps, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri to communicate a customer’s voice to the processing bot, and then receiving responses, which are then converted to voice and played for the customer, creating an instantly engaging experience.
Simply put, voice commerce is delivering a hands-free online shopping experience to the masses.
Examples of Voice Commerce
An example of voice commerce can further help understand how it works. In this case, we can assume that a customer has the Amazon Echo smart speaker, which uses Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.
Customer: “Alexa, tell ABC store to order a power bank for charging my phone”.
Alexa: “Sure, which brand and capacity of power bank would you like”?
Customer: “Order Samsung 10,000 mAh power bank”.
Alexa: “Great. Which color would you like”?
Customer: “What are the color options”?
Alexa: “It is available in silver, white and black. Which one would you like”?
Customer: “Send me a silver one”.
Alexa: “That will be $10.99. Would you like to get it”?
Customer: “Yes, please”.
Alexa: “Thank you for placing your order, it will be delivered to your address within 3 business days”.
Benefits of Implementing a Voice Commerce Solution
Just like e-commerce and mobile commerce brought unparalleled convenience to customers, voice commerce is the next step in customer experience enhancement. As a shopper, you get instant access to any supported store’s catalog in audio format, and you can go over available items even as you do other chores or your daily commute.
You don’t need to use a computer, a keyboard, or a mouse to shop via voice commerce. The experience is more direct, engaging, and less time-consuming since you are unlikely to get distracted or lost browsing through products. With voice commerce, you get to ask exactly what you want and have it ordered within minutes.
As a store, enabling voice commerce allows you to expand your customer base, improve customer retention and satisfaction, and enhance conversion rates.
If you don’t have voice commerce-enabled for your store as yet, you’re missing out on potential customers and new sales.
How to Get started with Voice Commerce for Your Store
Typically, voice commerce has been relegated to big brands that can afford the required technical resources. However, voice commerce startups, such as Rep are leveling the playing field by allowing any online store to enable voice commerce without the need for coding or technical expertise.
Some of the key features offered by Rep include:
You don’t need to know any coding or hire a developer to enable voice commerce using Rep.
Automatic Catalog Maintenance
Rep automatically updates your stock catalog without any input required from your end.
Personalized Customer Experience
Using artificial intelligence, Rep manages to deliver personalized customer experiences to every user, 24/7, like a dedicated sales assistant.
Rep provides access to detailed business analytics to help you understand your customer journeys and optimize them for better conversion.
Complete Sales Solution
With Rep, your entire store becomes accessible to customers using voice commands, and they can complete their entire sales cycle, from browsing products to placing an order – all using voice.
Getting started with Rep only requires four steps.
- Create your Rep account
- Login with your Shopify account and approve the requested permissions.
- Customize your brand messages (such as the post-sale ‘Thank You’ message)
- Go live!
For more details on available packages and Rep service fees, you can contact us with your questions and one of our representatives will get in touch. We will give you full support and help you update your online store with voice commerce so you can attract new customers.