Alexa, how will the new wave of voice commerce affect e-commerce?

“Voice can be as disruptive to e-commerce as mobile was to desktop.”

-Mike Haswell, Google

Voice commerce is a form of software application that is usually used in business websites. This technology replaces the standard point-and-click online decision-making process by letting the user speak into a microphone and makes selections based on oral words and phrases. . The user’s decisions are based on specific voice-recognition responses.

The developments of chat bots and digital voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Now etc. are factors of #AI which is creating a new and upcoming trend of conversation based e-commerce. It will not be long until consumers understand and accept this change in technology. People will soon realize the absolute convenience, speed and ease of voice commerce and will rely on it mainly while shopping online. Considering the consumer’s increasing comfort level and fascination with virtual assistants and chat bots, extensive adoption of voice commerce will be prevalent. This new trend can be best explained with the example of Amazon Echo Dot, smart home assistant; this appliance was found to be the highest selling item on Amazon Prime Day Sales.

Voice command devices employ the force and influence of machine learning to further predict which products a customer will find most relevant. This is done based in the customers past searches. For instance, a customer might simply ask their device to order a pizza – here, food, drink and FMCG retailers take measure to ensure that their products get chosen over those of their competitors.

Off late, many retailers are using NLP (Natural Language Processing) for their sites and are thus upgrading their websites with the same. USA’s Drinks giant Diageo has upped its game by developing a ‘skill’ to be used on Amazon’s Alexa – this allows the device to guide users/listeners to make cocktails using their ingredients

Talking about moving up rapidly in the race to win the competition, upgrading and advancing your brand is crucial but what stands as most important is data. With a huge pool of consumer data available online, digital attentiveness can help retail brands and investors assess their present market position, provide valuable views into the various concerns affecting customers’ sentiment, and stay on top of any potential risks. For retail investors, going digital and keeping part of an asset for voice e-commerce could prove to be immensely helpful in creating value for themselves in a bumpy and difficult sector.

Voice controlled devices and voice commerce have made their way in our world and are here to stay. Businesses can thus utilise their data to understand better their customers, build trust and loyalty are likely to see high returns.

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