With a substantial increase in smartphones, smart home systems, and smart speakers, voice ordering will soon be a standard expectation by most retail consumers.
Experts tip that voice shopping will become a $40 billion sales channel in the US by 2022, which presents a massive opportunity for ecommerce.
With more than 55% of US adults already owning a smart home device or smart speaker, and 128 million people in 2020 (up by 11% in 2019), the data clearly demonstrates an upward trajectory for consumer adoption of voice shopping.
While most big brands have made the bulk of their products available through voice shopping, there is a much slower trend among smaller retailers. Right now, there is a significant opportunity for smaller retailers to be early adopters and make gains over the competition. As consumers expect voice shopping as a norm, unprepared retailers will miss growth potential and lose customers to retailers who offer the option.
For those retailers researching the option, you should consider seven voice app features that offer high returns.
Delivery notifications and order status allow users to use their voice app to check on orders without logging in to a website or sifting through email for notifications to identify where their order is.
Notification and status features are incredibly valuable as they offer customers the convenience they seek. Additionally, not all retailers offer these features through voice right now, which gives those who do the opportunity to impress customers and capture higher repeat sales.
With delivery notifications and order status enabled, a user's device alerts them when they have a notification via a yellow ring or a message popup (depending on their type of device) grabbing their attention.
Coupons and deals on voice apps are similar to any other kind of promotion that a retailer might offer. However, by running promotions exclusive to your voice app users, you encourage them to continue shopping on your voice app.
Coupons and deals are particularly valuable for encouraging customer adoption of the channel, encouraging the discoverability of your products, and driving growth within the channel as more users become comfortable with regular use of your voice app.
When a user asks, "Alexa, what's today's deal?" the voice app will present a user with a set of deals, coupons, and promotions available to them.
Browsing through voice is a very different experience for consumers, but product recommendations are an excellent feature for users searching through voice by recommending products that might be appealing to them based on their activity.
A robust voice app also taps into the customer's order history, which allows for personalization that engages customers better. Suggestions are very specific and relevant to the user, which resonates better.
Product recommendations are valuable because they help increase the discoverability of new products and retailers through voice and provide users with a personalized experience based on their needs and shopping habits.
Personalized product recommendations can help users by automatically suggesting products to add to their cart. For example, a user with specific dietary restrictions who is shopping for groceries may have products that meet those requirements suggested to them by a voice app.
Product recommendations can also be prompted by the user. For example, a user might ask: "Alexa, find me a gluten free bread from my grocery store".
Store locators are a key feature on voice apps that help suggest the closest or most convenient store locations based on the user's geographical location or travel data.
As consumers gain trust and become comfortable with purchasing through voice, store locators can help guide them to store locations if they feel the need to see the product or prefer to pick up a purchase themselves.
Users on voice apps can ask queries like "Alexa, where's the closest (Your Brand Name) store near me?" and the voice app will suggest your closest locations.
Daily updates, also known as flash briefings, are snapshot updates on a new activity or status related to a user's profile, including updates on delivery times, new features, new deals, product suggestions, and many other useful information points.
Daily updates are a great way to engage with customers and help them learn of new products or keep them updated on industry news, which helps keep you top of mind with them.
Daily updates can provide a wide range of information such as requests for purchase history, new deals available that day, or even news or traffic updates.
Automatic reordering gives retailers the ability to tap into customer order histories and automatically find products they refer to when they casually say something like "order more/reorder shampoo".
Automatic reordering can also suggest to customers that they replenish products in their order histories at specific intervals or based on certain activity triggers or via smart device monitoring.
Automatic reordering is valuable because it helps boost average customer revenue and encourages repeated purchasing activity, which is particularly effective for everyday household purchases or longer lifespan items that require monthly or annual reminders for consumers.
Amazon Alexa has access to a user's order history on Amazon, which means that users can simply say the command "reorder (product)" and Alexa will automatically reorder the same product based on the user's confirmation.
Like text-based frequently asked questions (FAQs), voice can provide users with answers to common questions that they may have about a product or its features.
FAQs allow users to investigate products further before they make a purchasing decision, which boosts customer trust and confidence in their choice.
FAQs can also trigger different phrases of the same question. This captures more people & increases discoverability.
Users considering a product can ask for details by prompting a query like, "What is the review rating of this item?" or "Does the item include...?"
Voice shopping is still a developing sales channel, with capabilities and features growing every year. Voice apps help retailers provide better customer experiences, engage in new ways with customers, and stay ahead of the curve on customer expectations.
Reach out to us! Blutag is a turnkey SaaS solution that enables retail companies to deliver voice apps to their customers without coding in just a few simple steps.
Let us show you how! Contact our team to learn how quickly we can get your customers voice shopping on your own voice app!
For more great information on what is evolving in the world of retail voice apps, please check out our new guide: The Rise of Voice Apps Within The Retail Industry.