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Voice search in your eCommerce - 4 challenges to overcome

A technology that only a short time ago was only known from movies is now becoming an integral part of our lives. More than 30% of US users use voice search online, searching for furniture, gadgets, pursuing hobbies and even performing chores at work.

Aleksandra Stankowska
Aleksandra Stankowska

Voice queries on Google account for about 20% of all queries. However, this technology is not just reserved for search engines like Google! If you are an eCommerce owner you should definitely consider optimising your website and adding voice search to it. Get ready for a revolutionary future and master voice search before it conquers the entire eCommerce industry.

What is voice commerce?

Voice Commerce is shopping done by voice. Instead of typing our request on a keyboard, we simply ask for something by speaking the words. Voice search saves time, that is why its popularity continues to grow. If you want to find out more, watch the video below.

Commerce, eCommerce... voice Commerce!

Who uses voice assistants?

When we used to think of eCommerce customers, young and middle-aged people came to mind first and foremost. According to Eurostat, people aged 25 to 54 and 16 to 24 are the most likely to buy online. It is worth facilitating their journey through the numerous product categories in your shop. Or enable older people to shop online as well! By using voice assistants you have the chance to reach new customers and engage current ones in a great way. Think about it!

Online shoppers by age group according to Eurostat

Voice assistants for seniors, visually impaired and blind people

For the elderly, operating a computer or smartphone is a challenge. Some are unable to master this technology and many do not use its full potential. Digital exclusion also causes social exclusion. Voice search engines can bridge the gap between seniors and the online world because they are intuitive and easy to use. Older people are much more comfortable with a natural voice interaction with an online shop.

Voice search can also benefit the visually impaired and blind people. They can become more productive and independent when working, shopping online, using the online library and much more. It is a technology that reduces the social exclusion of this group of people.

Voice search in eCommerce

Voice search has changed the way we shop online. If you want it to positively change the customer experience in your eCommerce, you have to decide on this solution! Artificial intelligence will be responsible for finding products that match your customers' enquiries. They will immediately get what they came for, and you will gain satisfied customers and finalised shopping carts! Check out what is our vision for the voice based eCommerce!

Voice search in Size shop in listening mode

Challenges to overcome when designing the perfect voice search engine:

  • Low awareness of voice search
  • Lack of trust in technology
  • Errors in speech understanding
  • Fear of invasion of privacy

Many consumers from different social groups do not know anything about voice search. Particularly vulnerable to lack of knowledge are people who do not use the Internet very often or people who use search engines in the traditional way. There is a lack of reliable information that presents voice assistants in an appropriate way. Therefore, less advanced Internet users do not use this tool, which affects its somewhat slower entry into the market. If you want to help raise awareness of this revolutionary solution, then once your site is optimised for it, you can create an intuitive guide for everyone. Help users stay up to date with what eCommerce has to offer!

Lack of trust in technology

There's a misconception that a voice assistant can't do some activities for us - especially the more demanding ones. It is followed by those who are not very familiar with modern technology. Educate and inform about the capabilities of voice search engines. Perhaps your blog readers or followers on Instagram will turn into your future customers?

Speech comprehension errors

You can get through a lack of familiarity with this type of tool and a lack of confidence in the technology by creating insightful posts, expert podcasts or videos. The biggest challenge and key issue is natural language processing. Remember, the voice assistants in your shop should respond to your customers' needs accurately. The future of eCommerce belongs to those who will do this as precisely as possible. This will certainly increase trust in your brand and impact your bottom line. According to MonkeyLearn, the most common barriers to speech comprehension result in:

  • Unclear pronunciation
  • Unusual accent
  • Slang
  • Irony or sarcasm
  • Ambiguous expressions
  • Industry-specific language

There will also be challenges in terms of data collection, processing and legal compliance. If we can overcome the above barriers or find a way around them, we can expect huge changes in the eCommerce marketplace and across the web.

Know your customers' language

If you want to respond quickly and effectively to your customers' needs, you need to know what expressions they use most often. The way they communicate will influence the overall design of your virtual assistant. Follow them on your social media, analyse what they ask for, what products they are looking for and what they need. How do they ask questions? What are the most common phrases for a given topic? Social media have enormous potential! They are the link between you and your audience. In an online environment, they provide you with a dialogue which is almost as effective as in a shop!

Summary: what voice search has to offer?

It is clear what a powerful tool technology is today. The time has now come for voice search to take over the web! Its potential still sounds like something unimaginable, but you shouldn't ignore it if you want to stay at the forefront of eCommerce!

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.