What is Voice Commerce?
Voice commerce enables customers to buy products or services with a voice-activated smart device like Google Home or Amazon Echo. Ecommerce enterprises can offer their clients a one-of-a-kind shopping experience by utilizing this technology. Customers across the world were attracted to the convenience e-commerce websites had to offer and hence they changed the entire shopping landscape. Voice commerce is another innovation that is ready to change the way we buy products. Consumers are looking for features like self-service options, 24/7 availability, and personalization. Moreover, these features started to become more important during the pandemic than ever. Voice commerce offers all of these features with its AI-induced functionalities.
Voice commerce devices work on the conversations AI that simplifies everyday tasks to a great extent. It allows customers to use their voice to search for a product, make an order, pay for it, and even track its delivery. These promising features have resulted in around 31% of US consumers owning a voice-activated device, out of which 68% share belongs to Amazon’s Echo according to research. The survey also found that most customers used these devices to complete their mundane daily tasks, and hence the product meets the exact purpose it is made for.
Smart home devices are expected to handle £145 billion in transactions by 2025, according to estimates. Currently, Amazon dominates the voice commerce market, however, due to its youth, there is potential for new enterprises to enter the sector. You'll need to build a skill (for Amazon devices) or an 'activity to leverage voice commerce (for Google devices).
Voice Automated Devices
Voice automated devices are based on the most natural human behavior, to interact with devices to control various processes. They are intensively based on artificial intelligence, and hence it not only provides a seamless experience to customers but also offers valuable insights to the parent company. On the front, these devices intend to make certain redundant tasks like managing home security, controlling electronic devices, shopping, etc. efficient by automating them. However, most of these devices perform heavy analytics on the background of the customers’ voice to differentiate service. These devices analyze consumer behavior, loyalty, and also their emotions, and offer completely personalized services.
Amazon’s Echo and Google Home/Nest are some of the most commercially popular devices. They are more or less equivalent in their functionality and possess excellent natural language processing mechanisms. While Amazon’s Echo is more shopping friendly, Google’s Home offers comprehensive information and is better at handling general queries.
Advantages of voice commerce
The most significant advantage of voice commerce is simplicity. The fact that we can do everything from activating the device, to managing devices through just our voice is just fascinating. It is also time-saving as most things are handled by the device, rather than the consumer.
Multitasking is another advantage that makes life easier for people working from homes. This was specifically important during the pandemic as consumers were stuck to their homes and had a range of tasks to handle during the day. Since these devices are based on AI, businesses are able to track customer patterns and improve future experiences.
In some cases, voice commerce can also be used to improve customer engagement. These devices can be used for services like automated chatbots, technical support, transactions, etc.
Concerns on voice commerce
While the advantages and convenience voice commerce devices offer are pretty attractive, there are also some apparent disadvantages that might impact its reach.
- Lack of images: Since voice commerce devices are meant to assist users in shopping for products, it's difficult for consumers to decide whether to buy or not based on just details in the absence of visuals.
- Lack of transparency and trust: While AI has its advantages in offering a personalized service, a lot of customers are unhappy about the fact that most of their conversations are not just recorded, but also analyzed deeply. Thus, privacy and security are a major concerns here.
- Specific queries: Visual devices offer the possibility of attracting customers through advertisements while they are searching for related products. However, most voice-activated devices are programmed to provide specific product information based on a specific query by the customer. This hampers business growth for emerging brands.
QR codes, text input, Bluetooth, or NFC cannot be utilized for secure multi-factor payments on voice assistants. This is a problem that can only be solved using ultrasounds. Strong authentication is required for all electronic transactions under the new Payment Services Directive (PSD2). Ultrasonic communication is the only compliant PSD2 technology for transactions on vocal assistants. They comply with the criteria and are compatible with all existing web and peer-to-peer payment systems, as well as cell phones and smart watches. The user experience is excellent since the ultrasound will "travel" from the cash register or the verbal assistant to the smartphone, where the validation will take place.