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The potential of Voice Assistants in the eCommerce market

The development of eCommerce is progressing at an astonishing pace. No one needs to be convinced that it can no longer be stopped. There are constantly new ideas on how to improve eCommerce: how to attract customers, improve shopping experience, generate even more profits and achieve your goals.

Aleksandra Stankowska
Aleksandra Stankowska

Every now and then, new trends are born along with speculation about what's to come. One of these trends is the use of voice assistants while shopping. They probably need a few more years to become firmly entrenched in eCommerce, but it is already clear how important a part of online shopping they will become.

Technology that was previously only known from movies is now becoming an integral part of our lives. More than 30% of Americans use voice search on the Internet. These are activities related to home organization, pursuing hobbies, and even performing work-related duties.  

Voice search will definitely work great for eCommerce as well. Voice queries in Google search already account for about 20% of all queries. If you are an eCommerce owner then you know that there is no avoiding optimization if you want to remain visible to users on search engines.

New audiences

With the proliferation of voice assistants, the industry can gain new audiences. This type of technology is especially for certain target groups, such as the elderly. When we think of eCommerce customers, mainly young and middle-aged people come to mind. According to Eurostat, people aged 25 to 54 and 16 to 24 are the most likely to buy online.

For the elderly, operating a computer or smartphone is challenging. Some are unable to master this technology, others do not have the opportunity. Digital exclusion causes a kind of social exclusion these days. Voice assistants can bridge the gap between seniors and the online world because of their intuitiveness and ease of use. Seniors are definitely more comfortable with a natural voice interaction with an online store.

When eCommerce owners aim to attract customers and convert them to their brand, they do so in a variety of ways. They collect and analyze user data, produce content, saturate content with keywords to improve their visibility, take care of proper store design, use personalization, segmentation and other elements that can bring them closer to their goal. All so that when customers visit the site, they decide on a product and complete a transaction.

Changing the way we shop

Voice assistants will change the shopping experience a bit. It will be artificial intelligence that will take care of searching for offers and products, responding to the customer's query. Online stores will therefore face a number of optimizations and changes to their websites. The biggest challenge will be the issue of natural language processing and making voice assistants as accurate as possible to respond to the needs of the inquirers. The future of eCommerce belongs to those who will do this as accurately as possible. There are several challenges that will need to be addressed when designing the ideal V-Commerce solution.

Low awareness of V-Commerce

Many consumers, from all walks of life, know nothing about voice search. Particularly vulnerable to this lack of knowledge are people who don't go online very often or people who are used to and still use online search engines and navigate eCommerce the traditional way. There is a lack of reliable information that presents voice assistants in a clear way. Therefore, less advanced Internet users are not using this tool, which affects its somewhat slower entry into the mainstream market.

Lack of trust in technology

Some people are bound to say that a voice assistant can't do certain things for them - especially the more demanding ones - because they're not familiar with modern technology, so how are they supposed to know that it can really work wonders?

Speech comprehension errors

You can still somehow get through the lack of familiarity with this type of tool by creating blog articles, informing users about the potential of modern technology on social media, or introducing them to the topic in yet other ways. However, there is a barrier that is already a bit more difficult and requires much more effort. Once you've introduced users to voice search and they decide to test it out, there may be a communication problem between them and the technology. This may be because it is very difficult to design everything in the most human-like way possible. Once the user feels that the virtual assistant is just an artificial creation, it will be hard to build trust. So it is important to learn the principles of Voice User Interface and implement them as thoroughly as possible.

These are the main barriers that need to be addressed if voice commerce is to become one of the tools of choice for consumers for good.

What's next for V-commerce?

The faster the technology can be perfected, the faster consumers' shopping habits will change, stay ahead of the competition and provide the best possible experience for their customers. Future voice searches are likely to be most applicable to mobile versions of sites, so optimization in this area should also be considered.

Voice search also brings with it concerns about violating consumer privacy online. Challenges will also arise around transparency of data collection and processing. If we can overcome the barriers or find a way to bypass them, we can expect to see huge changes in the eCommerce market and the web as a whole.

VoiceeCommerceArtificial intelligenceAVACustomer experienceeCRMMachine learningMarketing automationMarketing MachineMarketing theory

Aleksandra Stankowska

Copywriter and digital enthusiast who does not know difficult topics because of her versatile interests. Loves all about AI. Privately a fan of kraft beer and mountain hiking.