Voice Shopping A Recurring Customer Experience Trend
Engineering Strategy 8 min read

Voice Shopping: A Recurring Customer Experience Trend for Digital Commerce

Digitalization has often pushed various healthy trends into the industries. This is allowing businesses to capitalize on consumers’ needs for an astounding shopping experience. The pandemic has been an important deterrent for the next technological step businesses want to take for smoother operations.

54% of users believe digital assistants will help them make retail purchases within five years. – Digital Commerce 360

By 2022, global eCommerce will completely dominate the retail landscape. Creating an architecture with less physical interaction for the customers while delivering better customer experience is crucial for businesses.

Voice shopping helps retailers streamline the entire customer experience, keeping it hands-free and dynamic at the same time.

Customers can conveniently do important activities while making their purchases with the help of voice-based shopping.

Around 45% of millennials use voice assistants while shopping. In the US, approximately a quarter of households own a smart speaker. This number will be skyrocketing to 75% by 2025. Global brands are trying to make good use of this digital channel for increasing their online presence and sales. So, it is about time that you also start taking advantage of voice shopping.

What is voice shopping?

What is voice shopping

Voice shopping is the process of making purchases using smart speakers, chatbots, or virtual assistants. – 2checkout

The rise in the popularity of voice shopping followed the upward trend in the purchase of Echo and Google Home. Yes, folks were using their Google Assistant for various routines. But, it is the way these smart speakers were advertised that caught the imagination of eCommerce businesses across the globe

Voice shopping is exactly what it sounds like: using your voice to make purchases.

Users have become accustomed to using these devices to carry out simple search requests. They are regularly using smart speakers for operating devices around the home. Other purchasing tasks include ordering pizza, reading out e-news paper and movie tickets etc.

This is how an average user will be using their smart speaker or voice assistance to make the purchases.

“Hey Alexa, add dove shampoo to my shopping list.”

“Okay, I have added Dove Shampoo to your shopping list, is there anything else?”

On opening your shopping cart, Alexa will confirm if you want to purchase the items in the shopping list. You can ask Alexa to add more items, show your shopping list, shop for other products, using your voice commands. The more specific your queries are, the more helpful the assistant is in your purchase.

How does voice shopping work in general?

How does voice commerce work

To give you the proper functioning of this digital technology we will cover this in two stages:

1. User Information

The first stage of voice shopping requires the user to enter their purchasing information such as their name, address, contact number, and payment information.

The system then holds the information for later. Many users already have gone through these steps from their previous purchasing experience so they can skip this part and just log into their account.

2. Order Placement

In the second stage of voice shopping, users place their orders.

  • Shoppers ask the system to order an item
  • The voice assistant informs the item’s brand name, price and other related info
  • In case the shopper has already had a purchase history, the system then asks if they would like to repeat it
  • Shopper either confirms the order or changes it
  • The item(s) get added to the shopping cart
  • The system asks if the user is ready to make the purchase
  • The order is placed after receiving confirmation

Costco, PetSmart, and Walgreens have already partnered with Google to provide a voice-activated shopping experience via the Google Home system. Back in 2017, Google partnered with Walmart for enlisting its product in the Google Home ordering system.

The role of voice in retail industry

role of voice in retail

Retail businesses have a great opportunity at their hand with voice-activated shopping. The crucial part is that they must create engaging, intuitive, and easy-to-use voice apps that will work coherently with these smart devices. Such a move will result in significant revenue growth.

Voice-activated shopping does not begin and end at home.

If you look at the bigger picture, there is a battle ensuing between Google, Amazon, and Lenovo to gain customer attention for voice-activated shopping.

Various industries have found different ways of inculcating voice assistants in their products. For instance, Ford has its Sync3 Infotainment that helps its customers listen to News, play music, and get weather updates while they are out on a drive, without taking their eyes off the road.

Many impressive innovations are happening in the technology arena and at a much faster rate. Retailers need to have a digital transformation partner that can stay in sync with these updates and keep their technological architecture afresh with new tools. In addition, retailers must also find cost-friendly ways of keeping all their customers connected and take more advantage of different customer touchpoints. While voice assistants can quickly help create a shopping list, retailers must fuse this technology with AI/ ML, AR, and big data to complete the shopping cycle.

Using data to generate loyalty

using data to generate loyalty

As discussed above, customers rely more on visual depictions while evaluating the products they are looking to purchase. In case voice takes over the retail scene and the customers are unable to make purchases via the traditional methods of evaluating their purchases, they will start relying on the retailers who

  • Have established themselves in the market
  • Provided a better voice-activated shopping experience
  • Are trustworthy and safeguard the financial data of the customers

Brand recognition will work wonders for the retailers that have established themselves in the voice-activated shopping domain while maintaining the customers’ interest.

In other words, brands that will nurture and maintain their relations, reputation, and loyalty in this new, automated retail market will be the most successful. And how will these retailers achieve this feat? By effectively using the customer data stored in their system.

The flow is simple; as the voice-activated system grows smarter with the help of AI/ML, it will accumulate more data. The big data analysis will help retailers derive valuable information to gain better momentum in the market.

Understanding how customers are using their voice assistants in daily life plays a very crucial role. Are they using the assistants in getting recommendations, create wish lists, etc. How deeply are they using voice assistants in their overall shopping journey? At what stage are they using their shopping assistants?

Retailers can use data to its maximum potential by retrieving relevant information about

  • their users
  • the products or the product category they like
  • the price range for a one-time purchase
  • their overall spend in a month, quarter, or year

They can develop predictive purchasing algorithms to forecast consumer behavior and create a feedback cycle for securing maximum customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Voice-assistant: How to create your new retail success roadmap?

retail success roadmap

Artificial intelligence has redefined the modern industry with further digital transformation, new business models, and a bankable future. Smart speakers are the new malls and retail shops.

The voice-based shopping assistant is that clerk or staff that will attend to your customers’ needs with intuitive and smart intelligence born from integrating various disruptive technologies.

Computers speak the human language, and they are catching up on the tone, Alexa being the best example. The questions business leaders must ask themselves right now are:

  • How will voice-activated shopping affect the customer who prefers to shop?
  • Where does the pandemic fit into the equation?
  • How are we going to adapt to the new norm for achieving success?

If these questions resonate with you, then it is time to look for a digital partner that will allow you to capitalize on this trend faster and help you win loyal customers by providing a frictionless voice-shopping experience.

Are you looking to answer the question of creating future-friendly architecture? Then let’s chat, and move towards an automated retail environment that respects the safety norms while keeping the shopping experience intact.

Voice shopping is helping streamline eCommerce; why are you still waiting?

voice shopping is helping streamline ecommerce

As you can see in the above statistics, voice assistants are already a great hit amongst modern digital buyers. Businesses are aware of this trend. Decision-makers are ready to invest in the technology that will help them capture the market share. All they need is a better collaboration with the experts.

With Covid-19, many businesses were forced to rethink their strategies, especially the retail industry. This industry heavily relies on maximum customer footfall. Customer safety measures are being implemented at shopping malls, retail chains, and grocery stores.

Curbside pick-up was accepted as one of the few alternatives in the product delivery category during COVID lock-down. But businesses also need to mix various other factors into their process. This way, they can successfully provide world-class service to their customer base.

In 2018, approximately 1.8 billion people made online purchases, with the prediction for 2021 to 2.14* billion. There is rapid growth in the online shopping industry that is being backed by disruptive and promising technologies.

These new technologies have helped retailers streamline and improve their customers’ overall shopping experience. Among these disruptive technologies, voice-activated smart devices have made a place for themselves.

Transform your online shopping experience with voice commerce

Rapidops proved itself a worthy digital product development partner for a US retail giant by helping them enable their customers with voice-assistant grocery shopping. The client wanted to make grocery shopping contextual and straightforward for their millions of customers. They partnered with us to develop a voice-enabled grocery shopping assistant. 

With assistance from the client, we conducted several customer interviews and concluded that ‘time’ was the primary factor in their grocery shopping journey. Another important issue customers faced was keeping a tab on the list of grocery items. 

Their customer bases comprised of  

  • elderly people who tend to forget their routine items 
  • working professionals or families that didn’t have much time in hand 
  • customers who would remember ingredients at the last moment 

Once we got around the client’s needs and the customers’ requirements, an AI-powered voice assistant began to allow customers to use voice commands to fill up their shopping carts. 

Rapidops has helped various retailers deliver a hands-free shopping experience. We redefined grocery shopping with the help of a voice assistant. We enabled retailers to take advantage of voice commerce as a new channel of growth in a market that has around 5 billion voice-enabled devices. Our experts engineered the voice assistant that helped the customers fill up their shopping carts with items they needed and place the orders without stopping their current activities, saving time spent on store trips.

RETAIL

Grocery shopping with your voice-assistant

How we helped a US retail giant deliver hands-free shopping experiences?

View Case Study

online voice shopping experience

If you are looking to implement such a technology in your eCommerce business and require an expert digital product development partner like us to give life to your ideas, contact us today. We will assist you in creating the digital roadmap for your business’s transformation. 

Saptarshi Das

Content Marketing Strategist -- A seasoned marketing professional who develops content for leaderships and learners by covering the subject matter in a detailed, well-laid and understandable manner after in-depth SERP analysis. An empath who likes to keep his thought process aligned with others to generate consumable content.

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