Voice technology is permeating society seamlessly and in almost a stealth manner. You see it appearing in homes, on appliances, home security systems, and automobiles. Big box stores are even using it to manage their supply chains. It’s also being used in entertainment in all sorts of ways that allow people to gain knowledge using their voice assistants or voice technology.
Last year in the U.S., almost 20 million more smart speakers were found in homes. Search is moving more and more to voice, and, globally, 27 percent of search is now being made on voice devices. Voice technology is the fastest growing technology in the last 40 years. Many people even have more than one device in their home, meaning people have devices situated in different places in their home for different needs during the day and evening.
Voice Commerce and Voice Technology is in its nascent stages as a new component in shopper channels. It’s a lever that can be used along the whole consumer shopper journey from awareness to consideration to conversion. In many ways, voice is the most curated of the channels. If a shopper walks into a physical store they can look down the whole product category aisle and see in one quick glance maybe 200 products. On a laptop, you can view perhaps ten to twelve, and on a phone, three to five. With voice, you can only listen to one option at a time, so that requires brand marketers to be more conscientious about what is delivered in the voice space. That aspect of Voice Commerce requires very well-defined strategies with a clear roadmap containing goals and guardrails.
So how can your brand plan and succeed in this rapidly evolving voice world? Here are three tips that we recommend to our clients:
Voice commerce and voice technology requires coordination between functions including marketing, media, and sales. One of the priorities of this team is to build a test plan to learn about using voice technology in commerce. Test and learn, then test and learn again, so you can determine how best to use voice in a brand category or categories.
To gain insights into the use of voice technology with customers, one of the best techniques is to use smart devices customers already own such as Alexa or Google Home. Research using voice devices helps replicate the shopping experience customers have with this technology. Voice is a great way to capture in-the-moment reactions with customers, as well as ask questions about their devices, types of product information they seeking, how they conduct searches using voice, what they are adding to their cart, and when they are buying.
Customer insights should form the foundation for internal sales and marketing strategies, as well as external strategies for retail partners. Demonstrating to retail partners the reason behind voice commerce, and your brand’s commitment to winning in this space, will ensure the voice commerce strategies will succeed with customers.
Want to learn more about adopting Voice Technology for your brand?