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Are you leading or following eCommerce crowd?

It has become cliche to talk about the continued explosive expansion of eCommerce. We’ve become used to numbers that illustrate amazing year-on-year growth. There is literally no one left who doesn’t believe that the online space is the future of retail.

Marcin Lewek
Marcin Lewek

But what does it really means? Well, that branch is and will be the merciless battlefield.

That’s why you’ve already invested in your online platform and will continue to do so. That’s why you’ve optimized every detail in the sales funnel. That’s why you have a team dedicated to the maintenance of your entire online operation. However, it is also (more and more) about the technology.

That’s why you should keep up with trends, high-end solutions, and anything that will give you an edge in the most competitive marketplace on the planet. Are you sure that you are really standing out from the crowd or just keeping up with it?

Let’s talk about voice

Google says that 70% of searches on Google Assistant use natural language — shouldn’t your eCommerce be ready to handle the same customer queries?

Let the numbers tell the story:

  • 20% - of mobile queries are currently done with voice search, even with their current limitations
  • 72% - of people who use voice search devices claim they have become part of their daily routine
  • 52% - of people who search by voice are interested in receiving info about deals, sales, and promotions from brands
  • 65% of 25-49-year-olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day (PWC)

You’re still don’t convinced? Let’s take a look purely at the eCommerce aspect; or should we say, in this case, VoiceCommerce

  • By 2024, global smart speaker sales will surpass $30 Billion, and usage of Voice Assistants in use is estimated to be $8.4 Billion (Consulterce) (Global Market Insights). Right now 34% of people who do not own a voice assistant are interested in purchasing one (Global Web Index).
  • 63% - of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps offer them relevant recommendations on products they may be interested in--according to Google.
  • 43% of people shop online via voice-enabled devices (FirstSiteGuide). By 2022, voice search for shopping needs will have turned into a $40 Billion industry.
  • Estimates indicate that global spending on conversational commerce channels will total about $41 Billion in 2021. That figure was forecast to grow almost sevenfold by 2025, amounting to some $290 Billion (Statista).

Searching with your voice - in general - is 3.7x faster than typing according to Bing. Google is one thing, but’s what with your own search engine, and the natural language processing technology?

NLP market value:

  • $11.02 Billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $45.79 Billion by 2028.
    CAGR of 19.49 % from 2021 to 2028. (Verified Market Research - 2021).
  • $10.72 Billion in 2020, and it is expected $48.46 Billion by 2026.
    CAGR of 26.84% during the forecast period (2021-2026) (Mordor Intelligence - 2020)
  • $11.6 Billion in 2020 to $35.1 Billion by 2026.
    CAGR of 20.3% during the forecast period. (Research and Markets - 2021)
  • $3 Billion in 2017 to over $43 Billion in 2025.
    CAGR of 39.45% during the forecast period. (Statista - 2021)

Up to 14 times larger in 2025 than it was in 2017. As you see predictions and estimations vary, however, even assuming the worst scenario, there is lots of money on the table!

In 2021 we had cookies

It is apparent, that in the past few decades it was the search systems that trained humans how to look for products. We have been taught how to distill the need in our heads into a succinct keyword so that information retrieval algorithms stand a chance to match something relevant.

The unprecedented progress in Natural Language Processing in the last couple of years heralds a change of approach and a new era for search engines. Even though we have only begun scratching human-level communication in terms of shared context or ambiguity the effects are already astonishing. And it’s good news, as Voice Search is a remedy in the declining era of cookie-based personalization.

In 2022 we gonna eat cookies

The privacy revolution is just around the corner here and the era of personal data scraping is ending. Mozilla and Firefox have already rejected cookies by default. Google Chrome’s privacy sandbox will also change methods of personalization in marketing. This has consequences in the shift from behavioral-based to search-based personalization.

If you plan to benefit from hyper-personalization in the future, you should rely on search queries instead of a behavioural, cookie-based understanding of customer expectations.

Here’s why current voice search technology disappoints most users:

  • Subjective descriptions – What does nice or inexpensive mean, exactly?
  • Use of categories – When users want to look at kitchen appliances or lipstick, where do you start?
  • Search by feature – Customers often want to choose from among various items with a common feature, but usually cannot.
  • Solution searches – Why can’t we just ask for recommendations for a particular need or problem?
  • Current sales and promotions – This is among the most popular categories on clickable menus, so where is the voice search equivalent?

Voice search can match actual customer habits in a way that conventional search cannot. But the issue with search is not only about natural, full-sentence queries. Do engines correspond to customers’ expectations nowadays?

Search query types support share among 60 top eCommerce sites.

Voice-based search is an answer for this issue as well, yet, it is as well the last key field of online shopping that has yet to be perfected. We are leading the way in research and development in this field.

Current search options are often ignored for a simple reason—they don’t work. The strange reality is that customers prefer to type out their search even though it’s less convenient. Smartphone users can speak into their phones to get any piece of information they want but can’t do it to find something in an online store?

We’re going to fix that very soon!

AVA: Our vision for the voice-based future of eCommerce
The early days of the internet saw a lot of natural language use. As Google gained prominence as the search engine of choice, keyword searches replaced natural language searches.
VoiceAVA

Marcin Lewek

Digital marketer and copywriter experienced and specialized in AI, design, and digital marketing itself. Science, and holistic approach enthusiast, after-hours musician, and sometimes actor.