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The Future of E-commerce is Voice Search

Statistics state that by 2020 50% of searches will be through Voice. Currently, 20% of the U.S. population has access to a smart speaker. That’s nearly 1 in 5 adults. With the advancements made in A.I voice recognition and smart assistants, it’s no wonder that adoption of voice search has increased. And it’s not just for mobile devices. People using desktops are also using voice assistants. It’s faster than typing, faster in delivering an answer to a given query and more convenient. Not only that, but adoption of voice enabled devices will be faster than other technology because it must adapt to us instead of the other way around. Between now and 2022, there will be a projected growth in voice commerce and 30% of searches won’t be done in front of a screen. This changes things. So while screens are not going anywhere, businesses need to optimize their marketing strategy for the rise in voice use.

How is Voice Search Being Used

Since the introduction of Siri in 2011 on Apple’s iPhone, voice assistants have taken over the way in which we interact with our devices. At first it was only focused for smartphones, but now there are smart speakers from different companies trying to gain a hold on the market. So far, that has been Amazon Echo with its Alexa voice assistant. The main contender is Google Home Assistant, but others like Apple, Alibaba and Microsoft are getting in on the action as well.

For the most part, consumers are using their home speakers and voice search to find out business information, weather forecasts, and simple repeat purchases. Though major companies are hoping that people will use voice to purchase large items, the truth is people still require visual information. People want to see the bed they’re buying, for instance. That said, some projections say that by 2020 50% of consumers will make purchases through voice instead of the 5% at present. Another survey also said that 52% of people would like to learn about deals and sales promotions from brands during smart speaker use.

That’s a good sign that soon purchasing through voice will be the norm. Therefore, it’s important to think about it now and how it affects your marketing strategy. Voice search is still being used to find out information about businesses. If your website isn’t optimized with the right keywords, a better prepared competitor might take your customers. One thing to consider about voice shopping is the smart speaker itself. Amazon will offer Amazon products to consumers, while Google Home will offer up several different options based on its list of partners. It’s not a free-for-all market.

Projected Impact on Ecommerce

Voice commerce is a rapidly growing market. The overwhelming majority of Amazon Echo users purchase the recommended product when shopping. As previously stated, the voice shopping market only accounts for a small percentage of purchases but its projected to grow from $2 billion to $44 billion by 2022. Most of these shoppers are expected to be using Amazon voice-assistant products. Businesses should consider creating deals only for smart speaker customers across all platforms, but especially through Amazon’s Echo devices. There isn’t a suggested strategy for how to make sure your brand is recommended to customers through Amazon Choice, but data suggests products must already be doing well in the marketplace to get the designation. As smart speakers continue their proliferation into more and more homes, insights from Amazon, Google and other companies will help form more clear strategies. In the meantime, simply analyzing the products with the Amazon Choice badge can help. With the decreased size in search results due to lack of a screen, it’s important that your brand is the number one choice.

Optimizing for Voice Search Marketing

When done well, optimizing for voice can bring brands and consumers closer. Customers want convenience and efficiency. Voice search doesn’t work like traditional search. The difference between typing in a few keywords and speaking is that people tend to use natural language. People don’t have to think like a computer. This requires changing the way businesses use keywords. Searches are longer and more action based. The focus should be on long tail key words and keeping your content natural. Having answers to a specific question can see a huge boost in traffic should your content be chosen as a featured snippet.

Through data provided about customer habits and location, virtual assistants can give answers and recommendations to users based on intent. Since queries are becoming far more specific, it’s important that businesses understand their audience. Location is also incredibly important for voice search since many of these searches happen to be while on the go. Businesses will want to make sure that they take advantage of user reviews and ratings, since people will look through them as well.

While it’s still uncertain if voice search will be as widespread as has been predicted, the popularity of smart speakers doesn’t seem to be just a fad.

Amazon and Google are competing in the market as they try to become the top home speaker. And consumers aren’t just using smart speakers for voice searches, they’re also using their phones which are already readily available. As technology continues to advance and voice recognition becomes smarter through machine and deep learning, it’s very likely that we will see those predictions come to pass. Businesses need to make sure they are ready now so that their brands will be ahead before the competition.

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The Future of E-commerce is Voice Search


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