It’s a dream come true for every consumer now that we have VUI (voice user interface) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) based assistants helping us find whatever we need and do our tasks for us. Voice assistants make our lives easier and the pioneers in this field such as Apple’s Siri, Google’s Ok Google, Amazon Echo based Alexa and Cortana by Microsoft have taken the retail world by storm by making intuitive purchases and ordering for the user on their behalf. They make suggestions and influence the decisions of such users largely as they help with most of their tasks.
It is evident that Alexa, Siri and Ok Google play a large role in Conversational Commerce market trends for an enhanced customer experience. People prefer easy and convenient technologies in shopping, asking for what you are looking for and getting actual search results than to manually search from the apps or the websites.
According to an Adobe study, more than 60% of people migrated from physical shopping to online shopping in the last 6 years using smartphone and smart devices. Also, among the 22% of Voice assistant users or smart home speaker devices got used to making effortless shopping using those assistants in the past 2 years. These voice assistants make shopping choices such as adding items to the shopping lists as per the command, re-ordering previous purchases, and buying items from the Voice optimized retailers and ecommerce websites and apps that are becoming so popular right now.
How does the VUI trend influence Retail shoppers?
According to some trend watchers, there are about 500 million people using voice activated assistants, and it is estimated to hit a whopping 1.8 Billion by 2021. Everyone wants an AI and VUI based bot for a seamless shopping experience! Taking advantage of this surge in the technology drift, ecommerce merchants and retailers are now opting to build VUI interfaces in their sites and apps, and there is a new trend in the market for many apps that use their own voice assistants with chatbots, or sites that integrate and optimize Artificial Intelligence (AI) to read customer data better and provide accurate results.
Voice Assistants are a boon to the online shopping experience. Starbucks revolutionized the Voice Shopping Trend last year by introducing orders through Alexa. Since then the revenue has soared for them! They have integrated direct orders through voice, which had been the setback for Google Assistant last year. Until then, customers were only able to reorder their previously made purchases and items to cart, but Starbucks stepped up the game by allowing direct voice interaction that orders the item for them and to use previously saved cards or check-out methods to complete the payment!
“Alexa! Order me a caramel macchiato with my previously saved Amex card, please!”
That’s how much easier the online shopping scenario has turned out to be these days! And many more retail Giants are scaling up to integrate with Alexa, Ok Google and Siri as well, which means, our life is about to get a 1000 times better with Artificial Intelligence!
Does Having VUI help with the Budget?
In January, Accenture stated in a report which they released, that the sales of smart speakers has grown about 51% in every one of the 21 countries the survey was conducted at. This is happening due to the lower cost in investing in voice assistant services in their own products. It could cost as less as 14$ as per the repost done by Accenture over the beginning of the year.
With the pressure to build more apps and sites integrated and their UI optimized with voice activated assistants, famous retailers such as Target have integrated their online shopping experience with Google Express, which resolves the shopping experience through Google Home devices.
It is evident that the availability of the devices and more apps optimized for these will become cheaper and affordable for the young and the old in the next few years though the technology had just emerged a year ago! Target made use of this drift in the market, and introduced a $15 offer for orders placed through Google Express with the help of Google Assistant. This is in line with the deals provided by Amazon on Prime Day and Black Friday last year, which turned out to be an advantage on the voice front for the customers to use Alexa for making purchases and increase sales with offers and coupons.
Optimizing for the Greater Shopping Good!
Amazon’s Echo Show is one such device that Amazon created for the customers to shop on the go, by getting detailed product reviews using Alexa. Echo Show is an LED screen based device that let’s you search, see and select your shopping needs by just talking to Alexa. It is more integrated and useful than the Original Echo, as it suggests, does your tasks, makes voice and video calls, shops for you and gives you a clear picture of the best products available in the market!
The Google Express, the shopping assistant integrates with not only brands such as Walmart, Target, Sephora, but it has a deal with Costco for Customers to buy using Google’s Assistant with a 20% off, even if the customer doesn’t have a Costco membership.
This technology is estimated to provide the hands-free customer more and more comfort and solutions to all their woes and make lives easier in the near future. It is not an unknown fact that security might be a huge risk with the Voice Assistants collecting a lot of personal data and information, but the data collected help with making proper suggestions and AI based intuitive performance for the customers. The idea to use Voice Recognition-based security is on the verge of making final purchases are going to be an option soon.
Aspire’s Forays into Voice Assistant Shopping!
Aspire Systems has developed its very own voice assistant formula using Epi-server! We have created an e-commerce VUI solution which uses integrated natural language processing Algorithms created to interact with customers which in turn takes the ‘voice prompt’ back to the retailer’s site to execute the order.
The solution uses Epi-server technology that uses natural language processing, mobile browsing, open-source technology, Alexa or Cortana frameworks to interact with sites and other solutions to provide a smooth Voice interaction for easier shopping. It is offered in a bundled package, along with Visual search assistants as well!
However, the next few years will be concentrated on making hands-free experience a priority for the customer as the available Alexa, Siri and Ok Google has gained an overwhelming response and priority over the customer segment. Moving towards voice based internet surfing and taking care of day-to-day shopping tasks enhances the lifestyle comfort level of the customer.
Thus, purchasing with just a few words, as if asking the shopkeeper for a product after reviewing it and paying for it in a matter of few seconds, seems to be the next big important change with Voice Activated Shopping assistants. Both the users and the companies look forward to innovation and change in lifestyle through voice based interaction with technology and revolutionizing the ecommerce and retail industry every few months.
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