Voice Ordering is Here
Voice shopping is coming, and it’s far more interesting.
Siri has been with us for years, but it’s in the last few months and largely due to Amazon that voice assistants have won rapid adoption and heightened awareness.
Over the last few months, we’ve been shown the power of a new interaction paradigm. I have an Echo Dot and I love it. Controlling media and some lights are the most useful applications so far. The Rock, Paper, Scissors skill… yeah, that one’s probably not going to see as much use.
But let’s not forget that this slick device is brought to us by the most dominant ecommerce business in the known universe. So it’s great for voice shopping, right? No. Not at all. It doesn’t do “shopping” at all.
But I heard the story about the six-year-old who ordered herself a dollhouse? So did I, and it reinforces my point. Let me explain.
The current state of commerce via Alexa is almost like a broad set of voice-operated Dash Buttons. For quick reorders of things you buy regularly and when you’re not interested in price comparisons, it’s fine. What it’s not — voice shopping.
Shopping is an exercise in exploration, research, and comparison. That experience requires a friendly and intelligent guide. As such, voice shopping isn’t supported by the ubiquitous directive-driven (do X, response, end) voice assistants.
Shopping is about feature and price comparison, consideration of reviews, suggestions from smart recommendation engines, and more. Voice shopping is enabled by a conversational voice experience, one that understands history and context, and delivers a far richer experience than is widely available today.
The Mobile Impact
Mobile commerce isn’t new and is still growing fast. But despite consumers spending far more time on mobile devices than on desktops (broadly defined, including laptops), small screen ecommerce spending still lags far behind.
So why can’t merchants close on mobile? The small screen presents numerous challenges.
Small screens make promotion difficult and negatively impact upselling and cross-selling. Another major factor, one you’ve probably experienced, is the often terrible mobile checkout process. Odds are, you’ve abandoned a mobile purchase path after fiddling with some poorly designed forms. I have. Maybe you went back via your laptop. Maybe you didn’t. Either way, that’s terrible user experience.
Through voice, retailers can now bring a human commerce experience to the small screen. It’s a new, unparalleled engagement opportunity; a chance to converse with your customer, capture real intelligence about their needs, and offer just the right thing. It’s an intelligent personal shopper in the hands of every customer.
Come reimagine voice shopping with us. Imagine product discovery and comparison, driven by voice. Imagine being offered just what you were looking for, based on a natural language description of what you need. Imagine adjusting your cart with your voice. Imagine entering your payment and shipping info quickly and seamlessly, via voice. It’s all possible and it’s coming soon.