- Voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana, are pegged to trigger a widespread transformation across the retail industry in the years to come.
- The current interest in, and adoption of, voice assistants for commerce is being driven by recent technological breakthroughs, advantages of the tech over existing channels, and the development of voice apps.
- As consumer demand for voice technology mounts, brands offering this functionality throughout the entire customer journey stand to gain in three key ways.
Not too long ago, if your friend had a smart speaker like Amazon's Alexa or Google's Assistant in their living room, it seemed like a rare novelty. Within a matter of months, however, smart speakers have started becoming household staples — and they're still only at a fraction of their growth potential.
One of the biggest drivers of adoption has been increased functionality. Smart speakers aren't just changing the music and turning on the lights; they're helping consumers find new products and make purchases — and they're quickly becoming a preferred method of shopping.
In fact, nearly a quarter of consumers globally already prefer using a voice assistant over going to a company website or mobile app to shop. This share will jump to 40% by 2021, according to Capgemini.
Consumers are on board with the prompt, convenient nature of shopping with smart speakers — and brands who join them stand to reap massive rewards. The Voice in Retail Report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, highlights the value voice brings to the shopping funnel and how retailers can implement it throughout the customer journey.
Here are three ways brands can capture consumers with voice technology:
- Driving product purchases: Voice assistants make spending faster and easier when consumers are unable to use their hands. The ability to make a purchase on any channel and the addition of personalized, intelligent elements to the shopping experience are simplifying the transition from product discovery to product purchase.
- Heightening customer loyalty: Brands can leverage voice assistants in the post-purchase phase to track delivery status, automate part of the return process, interact with customer service, offer feedback, and collect consumer behavioral and transactional data.
- Shifting consumers' spending behaviors: Smart device ownership has a snowball effect, so as the smart device ecosystem reaches the mainstream, consumers will flock to connected cars, smart home devices and appliances, and connected virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) headsets.
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Shoppers are interested in using voice assistants for every stage of the customer journey, from initial product search and discovery to post-purchase customer service and delivery status. And retailers that take advantage of consumers' desire to leverage voice will be in a stronger position to heighten customer engagement, increase conversion times, drive sales, and boost operational efficiency.
The Voice in Retail Report from Business Insider Intelligence examines the trends driving the adoption of voice commerce, details the role of voice throughout the customer shopping journey, outlines how brands can benefit from implementing voice in their strategies, and explores what's ahead for the technology in retail.