Retail

Voice Search: The future of advertisement in retail

Saptarshi Das

The distant dream of asking your device to various tasks for you was only seen in movies. Even though the kind of stuff they show in Marvel movies where the protagonist commands its AI system to do all the heavy lifting is in the distant future, voice technology has come a long way.  

Today, voice search is being used by many users. The only reason for its popularity and growing use can be credited to the ease of access and portability it provides to the users. It allows instant search for what they want.

What does voice search adoption rate tell us about the future?

Voice search adoption rate tell us about the future

First of all, it allows businesses to improve their customer experience. Second, it has a better user interface.

At the end of its fourth-quarter in 2017, Amazon announced it sold “tens of millions of Echo devices” with three separate reports estimating Amazon’s U.S. market share of voice assistants, or smart speakers between 70-76 percent.

When you combine the statistics with Amazon’s ad business growing by 60 percent in Q4, you can conclude that voice search is going to play a significant role in advertising, especially in the retail industry.

Now, voice assistants have their fanbase with mobile users and are gaining better traction in the retail sector. To make its adoption faster in the retail areas, businesses must adapt to the shift from simple to complex conversational queries.

What must be done for optimizing voice search?

optimizing voice search

Modern speakers have adapted the “smart” tag as they are embedded with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Not just that, even the earphones are now adapted to waking up your smartphone assistant and making a query.

Also, the cutting-edge voice recognition and all-round personal assistance to the user make voice search much more popular in the current market.

The best part is that there is no need to install multiple applications and cluttering the user interface.

People are using voice assistants for setting reminders, opening an application for ordering food, grocery, and other such essentials.

Users can get voice assistants to perform almost every function by listening to their speech. This has been possible because of the advancements in AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning), and big data processing.

How will voice search popularity impact the future of the retail industry?

Voice search popularity impact the future of the retail industry
Information source: business2community.com

By using voice technology, consumers can fasten their search query. When a user makes a spoken query, the voice assistant starts decoding the context, intent, and emotion behind it. Doing so allows the assistant to provide users with faster and better results for the said query.

The three technological advancements (AI, ML, and Big Data) is the reason behind the love and attention the voice technology is getting, and this will continue in the future also.

  • AI-powered voice assistants can efficiently help marketers in guiding the retail industry towards a profitable future.
  • By fusing AI with ML and making it run on a big-data analytics structure, businesses can help the voice assistant learn at a continuous pace.
  • This combination will also allow voice assistants to get better insights into the search query pattern and provide valuable insights to companies.

Better insights = better service + high CX.

The above examples made it evident that the voice technology in retail is still growing and will continue to do so in the future.

Are you aware of the fact that more than 3.5 billion searches are made online every day?

If your product or service is not appearing under the search results for the query your target audiences are making, then you are not marketing yourself correctly and missing out on all the potential earning opportunities.

New technology brings new challenges, and with businesses preoccupied with voice search optimization is now added to that list.

As per a report from ComScore, 50% of all search queries are going to be conducted by voice in the year 2020.

Are we going to get this result in the coming six months? Although the conclusion is debatable, yet it expresses the massive shift that has taken place in consumer behavior.

Voice and textual searches have the same goal, yet they carry fundamental differences in the way customers are using them. Approach them. That’s the foundation of your approach towards optimizing voice search in your organization.

70% of device owners already shop by voice or expect to in the future.

Early adopters of promising technologies always make the most in a comparatively new market. Start looking at voice search optimization strategically. Here are the three basic things that can be done to prepare your voice search optimization strategy.

  1. Understand the context and intent
  • Why does a user go online?
  • When do they go online?
  • What device are they using for making their search queries?
  • Are they doing related questions or purchasing queries?

Whenever a user goes online and makes a query, there will always be an underlying intent behind making that query.

You cannot deny the contribution of Google in making unimaginative breakthroughs. A study done by Reviews.com also says the same thing.

Google has improved the voice assistant semantic recognition and helped the assistant understand the intent of every users search in a better manner.

There is a rapid development of NLP (Natural Language Processing), and voice technology can accurately identify the intent and context for users’ searches.

For the future perspective of the same, voice searches will get powered with AI and IoT, and the scope of its future progress increases tenfold.

  1. Creating bankable voice marketing strategies

For any business to outperform its competitors, having a perfect marketing strategy is essential. Based on the verticals they serve in, companies might have different core strategies for retaining and expanding their customer base.

What is a marketing strategy without advertisement plans? Advertisements are one channel where voice technology is helping businesses the most. They allow businesses to know what the users are looking for and plan their marketing strategies as per their needs.

A customer might use voice search for looking up a particular product or service, but you, as a business, can reprogram the AI assistant to provide a “suggested” list to them along with the search result.

This way, businesses can get their bestselling products and services in the upselling and cross-selling category:

  1. Better Customer Experiences

There is an ample amount of competition out there in the market, and every business is striving to get the customer’s attention. Businesses are also competing for:

  • Providing the best customer experience
  • Retaining their customers
  • Sorting their bottom lines
  • Boosting their recommendations
  • Getting a better review from the customers

Trust me when I say this, providing a better search query experience to the target audience will help you get all of the above.

After all, voice search provides ease of use and quicker results to the users, doesn’t it.

What are users looking for while using voice search?

What are users looking for while using voice search

A study conducted by Narvar reveals that 51% of device owners use voice to research products before buying.

No! Users are not making purchases using their voice assistant, simply because there are so many technical aspects involved that it is still in the distant future. Yet, they are using technology to get the best shopping experience.

So what are the users searching using the voice search feature?

  • Business phone numbers
  • Business addresses
  • Directions to businesses
  • Hours of operation

88 percent of US consumers research products online before buying in-store. This comes as no surprise that the same behavior has carried into voice search queries.

This elaborated statistic indicates a straightforward thing, have 100 percent accurate necessary information regarding your business on your website so that Google or any other search engine can fetch the exact result when a user demands it to return a voice query.

How does voice search help the retailers?

BrightLocal revealed in its study that 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the past 12 months.

  • There is no denying that voice search is transforming the way retailers think about search.
  • A typical online search yields thousands of relevant results, with ten displayed per page (I am not counting the paid search results).
  • These results allow users to evaluate their options and delve deeper into their selection.
  • On the contrary, when users do a voice search on their mobile device, it will yield three top results.
  • If you have not optimized your content as per the search queries done by the users, you will lose yourself amongst all the noise!

Conclusion: How can retailers improve their voice search capabilities?

27% of people end up visiting the website of a local business after they do a voice search, according to BrightLocal.

Voice search will be at the center of the omnichannel retail shopping experience and fun fact, it is going to be there for a long time. This is the time to prepare yourself for the voice search war and be at the top of your competitions.

The statistic I shared at the beginning of this section is still of the fresh days. It is a start, and businesses have been optimizing their voice search query since 2017. What I am inclining towards is the opportunity of voice search optimization, it is an excellent investment for your business, and although it might sound like a risk, it will surely pay the due dividends.

If you are building a successful VEO (voice engine optimization) strategy, it is not going to be an easy path. You will be able to address their search needs better if you can understand your users.

You must rely on a digital transformation expert like Rapidops with the necessary AI/ML expertise fused with NLP technology. Rapidops is a digital product development partner you need as we have the cutting-edge technologies for developing futuristic products. We have worked with various businesses and have built digital products that provide their customers with great user experience.

Author

Saptarshi Das

I am a content writer and a geek in the digital marketing sense of it, who likes to read and write about revolution, expertise and startups.

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