As smart speakers flood the market, more and more retailers are deploying voice assistants that enable consumers to shop hands-free. Every day, these voice assistants are becoming more skilled at understanding user intent and engaging in intelligent interactions.
This means voice shopping experiences are only getting better.
In the near future, voice shopping will be essential for turning passive consumers into life-long customers. Without voice capabilities, retailers will miss out on tremendous revenue potential and lose ground to their more innovative, forward-thinking competitors.
To predict how quickly voice shopping will rise in e-commerce, we look at mobile shopping as a precursor for things to come.
Mobile E-commerce Growth Foreshadows Voice Shopping’s Future
When mobile commerce (“m-commerce”) first surfaced, consumers were slow to jump on board. Shopping experiences on mobile devices were clunky. Customers still found it easier to use desktops to browse and purchase goods online.
As time passed, retailers became more mobile savvy. They built intuitive mobile storefronts and optimized the handheld shopping experience. At the same time, consumers grew more comfortable with shopping on-the-go with their smartphones and iPads.
Between 2016-2017, mobile shopping’s share of total online shopping doubled. 2018’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend witnessed unprecedented online m-commerce activity. Over five days, more than $2 billion in sales went through handheld smart devices, an 18% increase over 2017.
Mobile commerce has provided retailers with another medium through which they can sell their products and build loyalty with customers. Those who haven’t yet optimized their online stores for mobile shopping are behind the curve.
With voice shopping, there is still time.
Voice Shopping Capabilities Today Means Success Tomorrow
Voice shopping isn’t a far-off reality. It’s here.
In 2017, voice shopping accounted for $1.8 billion in sales. This figure is expected to skyrocket to $40 billion by 2022. Compared to mobile shopping, voice shopping is growing 2x faster.
Right now, consumers often use voice assistants for reordering household products, such as toothpaste, toilet paper, and laundry detergent. Many are also turning to voice shopping to purchase goods in bulk. Without having to launch a single browser, shoppers are able to make purchasing decisions for a multitude of products, from beauty supplies to groceries.
And those who shop with voice are highly likely to continue doing so.
Voice shopping experiences are improving significantly as smart speakers grow more sophisticated. These devices are starting to surpass the level of customer service that in-store representatives can provide. For example, smart speakers can pull information from a variety of data sources in order to present shoppers with high-quality, tailored recommendations that are based on past behaviors and purchases.
A representative sampling conducted by PWC found that 72% of Americans have used a voice assistant. According to Juniper Research, 55% of homes will have smart speakers in the next four years. That’s 70 million households in the U.S. alone. By 2022, there will be 870 million voice assistant devices across the country.
The combination of technological advancement and smart speaker prevalence is setting the stage for voice shopping to evolve into one of the most important sales channels for online retailers. In the future, customers will be lost and won over voice shopping capabilities.
Surf the Voice Shopping Wave With Blutag
In 2019, it’s critical for every retailer to develop a voice shopping strategy.
Voice shopping is growing much faster than mobile shopping, which is now a core component for any successful online retailer strategy. Those who wait will quickly fall behind and miss the next e-commerce wave that will separate the online shopping field even further.
Interested in learning about how Blutag can help you deploy a voice shopping assistant and strategy for your company?