Voice commerce, also known as voice ordering, is a modern consumer trend of using the technology of voice searches to shop.

So, shoppers can look for, inquire, and make a purchase entirely through voice-enabled, intelligent assistants like Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple's Siri at any time of day just by speaking. 

Voice commerce is not your typical search done through voice-to-shop. It is shopping done with the help of AI-based conversational assistants that help you shop through voice.

Voice Commerce Trends

Voice assistants have become a common household item now. The usage of voice assistant speakers has increased over the years across ages, according to eMarketer.

Furthermore, according to Google, 52% of people keep their voice-activated speakers in their living rooms, 25% keep them in their bedrooms, and 22% keep them in their kitchens.

Voice searches are taking over, especially in the retail and eCommerce sector. People are now more than ever becoming comfortable shopping online using voice assistants. In this blog, we will discuss the five reasons why voice commerce is a game-changer in online shopping.

The 5 Reasons Why Voice Commerce Has Shifted The Online Shopping World

Here are the five reasons why voice commerce is changing the way people shop:

1. People Are Shifting To Voice-Activated Shopping 

The trend of voice searching is taking over faster than ever anticipated. Initially, people thought of voice searches as a novel luxury that brands introduced as a marketing technique. But, it wasn't long before people grasped the convenience it offered over the traditional search methods. 

The following stats show how the trajectory of adapting to voice search by people and businesses is up on the rise: 

  • Strategy consultants OC&C predict that voice ordering will grow to $40 billion-plus in 2022, up from about $2 billion in 2019 across the U.S. and the U.K.
  • UK-based Juniper forecasts that there could be 8 billion voice bots in use by 2023.  
  • Voicebot, in 2018 found that 1 in 5 U.S. adults had used voice as part of their shopping journey.

With these digits, it is important to note that voice commerce's potential is not fully explored because it is used not only for making a purchase but also across the shopping journey. 

That means out of all the people who use voice search for shopping -- some of them use it to only search for items, some only to inquire about them to customer service, etc. 

This goes to say that businesses can leverage voice commerce by building an omnichannel customer experience, wherein a patron is more likely to complete the buying journey and make a purchase. 

2. Delivering A Hyper-Personalized Experience

Major brands across the world have identified that integrating voice searches into a customer's buying journey drastically enhances the customer experience. 

This is because voice search allows businesses to create personalized experiences for their customers. 

Take, for example, business giants Nestlé and Toyota have leveraged the power of voice commerce to enhance personalization in customer experience. It is important to note how voice searches are adopted across industries, from food to automobiles. 

Nestlé has developed an app -- GoodNes skill for Amazon Alexa. It is developed by Nestlé's Silicon Valley Innovation Outpost (SVIO) in San Francisco to enhance the customer's experience while cooking.

The goal of Nestlé is to help customers turn simple ingredients into delicious treats. 

This integration can allow users to hear and see recipe steps in their paired web browser. They can also access nutritional information, ingredients, fun facts, and how-to videos designed to help consumers learn new cooking techniques.

Toyota's self driving car, Concept-i, houses a voice-enabled artificial intelligence bot named Yui.

This voice-enabled virtual assistant aims to make an emotional connection with the passengers. Taking the power of voice searches to a whole new level, Yui "talks" to people about various landmark sites, eateries, places for activities like biking and hiking, and even places to shop for clothes while driving. 

While this concept was to be launched in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which has been delayed due to Coronavirus, there are still voice-enabled features in cars that enhance the customer experience. For instance, asking the bot to play the tune as per your mood while your are driving is one such example.

3. Voice Searches Make Shopping Quick And Easy 

Voice searches reduce the searching time by 1/3rd: Voice search reduces the time it takes for a customer to search for a query. Word Count concluded that an average person types 35 words per minute while they speak 3x more, approximately 100-130 words per minute. This means people can search for information 3x quicker through a voice search than a traditional text-based search. 

Moreover, a survey by Global Web Index found that 43% of voice search users use voice search because it's simply faster to get information from the internet. 

They allow you to shop while doing something else: Since voice search doesn't necessarily require you to hold your phone and type in queries, you can look up the internet while doing other things.

According to a survey by W.O. Strategies, 42% of all voice search users used voice search while driving an automobile. Moreover, voice searches can be of immense help while cooking, doing household chores, repairing appliances, and other things.  

Google Home and Alexa devices can help a person lookup at any product or service in real-time from anywhere in their home by just speaking. So, if your business has optimized its digital silos for voice searches, you can easily experience a heavy inflow of visitors' daily footfall. 

4. A Hub For Retailers 

Ecommerce Brand collaborations with voice search have increased in the past thanks to voice search giants like Google and Amazon providing a platform to retailers.

Google Home introduced a Google Express platform. Wherein retailers across the U.S. can affiliate with Google Home. From big retail names like Petsmart, Walmart, and Walgreen to many local small businesses with only a few branches that have listed themselves in the Google Express platform. 

This aims at making the customers' voice commerce experience easy with quick access to favorite shops, easy and secure payments, and no additional charges or membership fees. 

Additionally, eBay was the first big e-commerce platform to integrate with Google Home to enhance customers' shopping experience through voice searches.

Customers have to say, "Hey Google, ask eBay to find me a —," followed by the name of virtually any item, and then the eBay voice app will ask questions to narrow down your search before giving you the right results. Once you find an item that's to your liking, the app will ask if it can send the results to your phone or PC.

5. Voice-Activated Shopping Offer A Higher Level of Security

Online data privacy is an essential element of today. Now that individuals are using complex technologies and are hyper-connected, one instance of data leak could cause a big disruption for the users. 

Customers constantly share sensitive, personally identifiable information like credit card information, physical addresses, names, and phone numbers while making transactions with businesses. 

Hackers can quickly get access to this highly sensitive data through online security loopholes. Even though online data breaches will always be possible, the goal should be to strengthen our security firewalls.

Voice search is one such powerful firewall. With voice recognition software, using your voice for another layer of authentication can help prevent security leaks. This will make users feel safer to shop online.

Another benefit is that voice commerce can prevent customers from accidentally shopping with kids. With voice recognition, they can avoid purchasing thousands of dollars worth of toys, games, or any random item online. In other words, voice commerce helps people with childproofing online shopping sites.   

The Future of Voice Commerce 

According to Econsultancy, "By 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen, or 50% of all searches will be conducted via voice." 

In a report by eMarketer in August 2019, 33% of all voice search users plan to shop through voice search in the next year. 

Knowing the massive flux of audience shifting towards voice searching, more and more businesses across industries like retail, healthcare, automobile, finance, and many others are repurposing their SEO and other marketing strategies for voice commerce.