Project Voice Webinar Recap: Bring Voice Shopping Success to Your Brand

Earlier this month, Blutag Co-Founder and CEO Shilp Agarwal sat down with Bradley Metrock, CEO of Project Voice, to discuss the future of voice commerce in a webinar presentation titled "Bring Voice Shopping Success to Your Brand." 

Across nearly an hour of dialogue, the pair discussed the history of the voice commerce industry, the state of things today, and how brands can capitalize on the opportunity of the moment to harness new profitability in the future.

In just a few short years, the voice commerce landscape has evolved tremendously. Customers are using voice, and brands are realizing the immense potential of this new and primarily untapped technology to deliver a world-class customer experience. Voice is driving business success, and now is the perfect moment to get involved. 

In this brief recap, learn more about the future of voice-powered retail. 


The Growth of Voice: State of Voice Commerce Today 


Bradley Metrock:

Voice commerce has come a long way. Before the pandemic, a great article came out that wasn't too kind to voice commerce and had some statistics to indicate the industry needed work. Then the global COVID-19 crisis hit, and things have just really taken off. The evolution in voice commerce has been pretty profound. It's a good time for people working in retail and digital commerce to get up to speed.


Shilp Agarwal:

Blutag is a platform for brands and retailers to launch voice applications using Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. We have a team with deep expertise in digital retail. My previous venture was all about retail as well. Along the journey, we realized that personalization is something worth focusing on to build true loyalty.

When these first voice interfaces started coming in, it was a natural progression. We saw the immense potential to use voice to deliver a more personalized customer experience, get new customers and build loyalty in a whole new way. So we built it into a platform to create a true turn-key solution for delivering highly engaging and activating voice-powered retail experiences.


Bradley Metrock:

For people that might have the doubt of 2017-2018 in their minds, what is the state of voice commerce now? 


Shilp Agarwal:

Over the last couple of years, we started getting figures and data saying that voice was going to take over the world and that commerce would be a big piece of it. Many retailers and brands that became our customers, as well as larger retailers, realized they needed to adopt voice strategies to build voice experiences to deliver to customers. However, the mistake that was made was that it was thought everything could be done on the web or mobile apps. We felt that we could create that entire experience using voice. We thought, "Let's put an entire product line up and let people navigate through it using voice."

We found that people didn't want to have such lengthy conversations with smart speakers. We saw some limitations in our solution. The technology wasn't there around 2017/2018, and the user awareness and understanding of the tech wasn't there either.

It's taken time, but the technology and user adoption have grown tremendously in the last few years. It's similar to something like a QR-code. There was a point when you may have seen one and not know what to do with it, but now they are so typical that most customers are comfortable with them.

Since the pandemic, a few things have changed forever: ecommerce is absolutely through the roof, and smart speaker usage has gone up tremendously. People are home and looking for more to do with their smart speakers than check the weather. So we see the state of voice commerce is at an incredible pace now. There is actual use and real results, and brands are now seeing the value. There is a different value for every brand. Different types and brands will have different value propositions.

Our main customer segments are grocery, beauty, pet, and baby. These are all regularly replenishable categories. People want to know how they can read their favorite items to the cart in the easiest possible way.


Voice in Motion: Use Case Examples 

           Consumer: Alexa reorder my coffee from Black Rifle Coffee.

Alexa: Last time you ordered coffee, our Guy Roast Coffee whole roast was bagged for $13.99. Would you like to add it to your cart?

Consumer: Yes.

Alexa: I've added it to your cart. You can say check out anytime.


Shilp Agarwal:

That is a simple example using Black Rifle Coffee. They are on Shopify or Shopify Plus. They have a lot of loyal customers that are continuously looking to order and reorder coffee. This gives them the ability to capture the moment when they are running out of a product.

Certain brands and customers will gravitate to voice to simplify reordering their favorite products in the quickest and easiest way.

There are other areas though, such as grocery, where customers tend to have a much larger number of items in their shopping carts. We needed to design a way for customers to easily add items to their shopping carts using voice. We've seen 35-40% reorder frequency increases when customers start using voice to reorder their favorite frequent purchases from direct to consumer brands.

         Customer: Alexa order milk from ABC Grocery.

         Alexa: Anything else?

         Customer: Strawberries.

         Alexa: Anything else?

         Customer: Bananas.


Shilp Agarwal:

This shows an example of how easy it is to add items to your shopping cart simply using voice. We have seen order sizes increase by 10% when customers shift to using voice. They are adding just a few more items each time, which makes a huge difference for ecommerce success.

People don't want to have long conversations. They don't want to spend a long time talking. They want to perform tasks. The key is delivering the ability to easily perform the tasks that customers want to complete in the easiest possible way using voice. So that's what we have done with our solution. We developed a way to allow brands to connect their existing ecommerce brand to a highly personalized and interactive voice commerce experience.

To watch the full session between Shilp & Bradley, follow this link for a recording of our webinar here.

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