Voice Shopping Is Taking Over: How Brands Can Provide the Best Experience

September 28, 2022

Voice shopping is becoming a major part of every brand's customer experience. From assisting research and enabling purchasing, to tracking deliveries, getting support, and leaving reviews - it seems voice is becoming an important part of the whole consumer journey. 

While making shopping quicker and more convenient, Voice is also driving conversion and brand loyalty. It is boosting customer satisfaction across all touchpoints, and enabling a whole new world of personalization.

Thanks to technology advancements, providing a Voice experience is no longer a big investment, nor a lengthy or complicated process; it is within the scope of every organization. DTC brands that don’t offer Voice Shopping will soon be considered out-dated and have trouble competing. 

Listen up as we cover the key benefits of Voice, where to start, and what to measure when creating a successful Voice shopping experience for your clients.

Voice shopping is taking off amidst optimal market conditions

Until recently, direct to consumer brands were hesitant to create Voice commerce experiences for their clients. They had a hard time gaining organizational buy-in and couldn’t justify the cost, time, and expertise required. But things have changed, and all these barriers have been, well, basically obliterated. 

Thanks to powerful off-the-shelf solutions, external specialists are no longer required for conversational design, database reshaping, or complex technical integrations. The cost for developing Voice skills is an order of magnitude lower than what it used to be, and instead of taking months to achieve, Voice experiences are just a few clicks away. 

As for convincing leadership - let’s look at the data. In 2021, 45.2 million adults used voice to shop in the USA alone, up 120% from 2018 and reflecting a 30% CAGR. Predictions for 2023 see Voice commerce volumes reaching $80 billion, and more than doubling that to $164 billion by 2025. In 2019, Adobe found that above 90% of businesses had already devoted resources to Voice commerce and are intent on adding more. 

Market conditions are optimal on the consumer side too. Voice enabled smart devices are everywhere and consumer behavior has evolved. People of all generations are familiar with how to use Voice, and they’re using it at home, in the car, and on the go for much more than just playing music or checking the weather - they’re shopping

CPGs and Grocers are the first to enjoy

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) and grocers are the first sectors to reap the benefits of Voice Shopping. Effortless purchasing of frequent use daily items like food, beverages, cleaning supplies, pet food, and sanitary products simply makes sense. Consumers are familiar with the products, not much comparison is required, and they have probably bought them online before - making refills and reordering a no-brainer. 

Agencies and Shopify developers realize this, too, and are offering their CPG clients Voice commerce as an integral part of the eCommerce package. Plug-and-say solutions allow them to seamlessly build Voice skills based on existing online shops and deliver the experience together with visual confirmation which enhances conversion. 

What Are The Features Customers Love?

If you’re not yet convinced, let's review the benefits of Voice commerce for both consumers and businesses. Voice delivers value at multiple touchpoints throughout the entire purchase experience. These are the ways brands and consumers are using Voice today.

1. Convenience

The greatest advantage of Voice Shopping is that it's hands-free and easy to use. Whether cooking, gymming, multitasking, or driving, consumers can do more with their voice. Businesses that provide Voice interactions will strengthen ‘convenience’ as part of their brand identity and boost customer loyalty. 

2. Swift transactions

Getting it done fast is central to the Voice shopping experience. With Voice, consumers can skip log-ins or typing personal details, and save time using powerful Voice Search to immediately find exactly what they need. For sellers, enabling a swift and seamless transaction results in less abandoned carts.

3. Around the clock support

Voice commerce is available to consumers 24/7 just like a web store, but has the added benefit of making clients feel like someone is there, whenever they need. Instantly opening customer service tickets, tracking orders, and getting answers are just a few of the skills that are now so easy to deploy. Businesses will see customer satisfaction increase and reduced loads on live customer support teams. 

4. Order Tracking & Notifications

Give your clients an easy way to track their orders, check its status, and coordinate deliveries.

How to measure and improve a voice shopping experience

One of the reasons Voice enthusiasts and eCommerce developers have a hard time convincing  their organization or clients to unleash the power of Voice is a lack of clarity regarding measurement and ROI. The following metrics will help measure and improve any brand’s Voice experience.

1. Repeat engagement (frequency of use per user) - By far the most widely used metric  by voice professionals. Users who return either enjoyed your voice experience or are interested in learning to use it. Either way they’re back and they’re engaged. 

2. Top intents  - Collect data to understand what your customers want, even from unfulfilled requests. With the insights you gain, action can be taken. 

3. Session length by type - An important metric to monitor is how long each voice experience takes, irrespective of if it was completed successfully or not. This will vary depending on the type of interaction, but purchase and customer support are two top types to monitor. 

4. Completion or Conversion rates - Once initiated, do your voice experiences end in successful completion or sales? Is another query started or is contact through other channels like email or chat to CS initiated? 

5. ROI - Although full ROI may not be achieved in a few weeks, it is still a metric that should be tracked. With the cost of voice significantly reduced, ROI will be achieved much earlier than most imagine. 

It’s valuable to remember that voice experiences, like any user experience, need to be tweaked on the go to provide value. Starting now is the first step to succeeding. 

Emerging Voice Tech and Visual Validation Enhances Sales

The voice commerce revolution has just begun and we’ve only scratched the surface. Voice authentication, seamless payments, and NLP localization are just a few of the advanced technologies now being incorporated into voice experiences. They’re supporting the emergence of voice commerce as a major sales channel and there’s much more to come. 

GPG retailers, for example, are leading the Voice commerce revolution because they, and their catalogs, are already entirely online with lots of visuals to support sales. After concerns about security and privacy, 22.8% of Voice users note a lack of visual browsing and confirmation as the top drawback of their Voice assistants. The industry hears this and agrees. Today, most of the smart speakers have screens which enable rich interactions through visuals and touch in addition to voice. Multimodal experiences are resonating with customers. 

Getting Started With Voice Shopping Quickly

Twang is a leader of seamless, multimodal, Voice Application development solutions. All the heavy lifting is done, all technical barriers removed, making it quick and easy for businesses and agencies to get started. It’s ‘Plug & Say’ all the way. 

In just a few minutes you can connect Twang to your online store, select and customize the relevant functionalities, and deploy live.