Voice Commerce: Why You Need It

The traditional brick-and-mortar stores are facing heavy competition from eCommerce sellers as consumers have shifted their buying habits to purchase everything from prescription medication to clothes, groceries, and other goods from online retailers. The introduction of same-day deliveries have made eCommerce even more convenient. People love convenience and saving time. eCommerce provides both. The rapid advancement of voice recognition technology is creating a new opportunity for online sales that makes shopping even easier. Introducing voice commerce, or V-commerce as it is being called.

What Is V-Commerce?

Voice commerce gives consumers the ability to purchase things online using their voice along with a compatible smart device such as a smartphone, tablet, or voice controlled virtual assistant connected to the internet.

Just as you can ask Siri to give you a weather report for tomorrow, you can ask Siri or Alexa to browse an online store’s entire catalog, ask questions, get product ratings, check availability, and pricing and conclude with a purchase – all with your voice.

Voice commerce is much like having a conversation with your device that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide a dedicated salesperson who guides you through your shopping experience.

Voice Assistants

You are likely familiar with voice assistant solutions. Your first voice assistant was likely Siri who came with your Apple Smartphone. Along came her cousin Alexa from Amazon. Today there are several virtual assistants such as Microsoft Cortana, Google and Samsung’s Bixby.

As voice recognition was integrated with smartphone operating systems, voice commands began to accomplish basic tasks, such as dialing calls, translating voice to text messages, checking the weather and other simple functions. Today, virtual assistants can be used for more complex activities like interacting with smart home thermostats, TV’s and lighting. Virtual assistants are capable of providing driving directions, getting the latest scores on your favorite game or programming your television to record a program the next time it airs.

Voice recognition used in conjunction with devices such as Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod has become a popular solution for embracing voice recognition technology to process voice commands.

Voice commerce communicates a customer’s voice to the processing bot, and then receives responses that are converted to voice and played back for the customer. Simplified, voice commerce is delivering a hands-free shopping experience.

A Sample Voice Commerce Experience

Customer: Alexa, ask Amazon to send me a new power strip.

Alexa: Sure, which brand would you like and how many outlets do you need?

Customer: I would like six outlets please

Alexa: Great. Which color would you like?

Customer: What are the color options?

Alexa: It is available in white or black. Which one would you like?

Customer: Send me a white one.

Alexa: I found a GE 6-Outlet Power Strip, 2 Pack, 2 ft. Extension Cord, Heavy Duty Plug, Grounded, Integrated Circuit Breaker, 3-Prong, Wall Mount, UL Listed, White, 14833 for $10.99. Would you like me to order it?

Customer: Yes, please.

Alexa: Thank you for placing your order, it will be delivered to your home address within 3 business days.

Benefits Of Implementing V-Commerce

Just as eCommerce and mobile commerce brought a new convenience to customers, V-commerce will be the next chapter in customer service improvement. Shoppers get instant access to merchants who offer V-commerce even as they are commuting in their car.

V-commerce needs no computer, keyboards or a mouse to shop. The experience is more direct and engaging. Buying decisions are made faster and even if a product cost more than a competitor charges, merchants will likely see an increase in sales simply because of the convenience. Shopping experiences are reduced to minutes with V-commerce.

Merchants who implement V-commerce will expand their customer base, improve customer retention and satisfaction, and enhance conversion rates. Don’t miss the bandwagon here. V-commerce has arrived.

Getting Started

There are voice commerce companies such as VoiceFront and Blutag who are implementing easy to use apps that allow any online store to implement V-commerce without the need for technical skills.