Understanding Conversational AI and its Future Potential

Think of the ways in which you communicate today. Which of these are you using regularly? 

  • Texting using talk-to-text
  • Speaking an email reply on your mobile device
  • Using your voice to shop on a phone application 
  • Speaking to a voice assistant (Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, etc.) 
  • Voicing a command to an appliance like your vacuum 

These modern communication methods are under the category of Conversational AI (artificial intelligence). Conversational AI is a machine learning technology that uses natural language processing (NLP) to help people to communicate naturally with devices using their voice. 

You may not even realize how much conversational AI is present in your life, as we’ve gradually moved to this technology. Your virtual assistant may prompt you for your morning wake-up, provide driving directions, or help (via chatbot) with an online issue. The AI device understands your voice, provides answers, and does through Natural Language Understanding (NLU). 

Now is the time for you to see what conversational AI can do to enable voice commerce capability for your brand. This proven technology is here and growing fast - the time for you to pursue voice commerce solutions is now. 


Market Opportunities

Conversational AI is at the center of a promising new sales channel. Your friends and family members are likely using voice to search, shop and place orders more frequently. This solid comfort level with voice technology and conversational AI means that your business can use AI’s potential to deliver highly personalized customer experiences.  

As more people use voice technology, so too does the market grow. In the past few years, over 45 million Americans participated in voice shopping using conversational AI. This growth in usage likely means increased revenues across the voice commerce spectrum. Transactions using voice assistants on smart home devices are expected to rise to $164B by 2025, according to Juniper Research.


Advancing Voice Technology

Among the reasons for the growth of conversational AI and voice commerce is that NLP and voice recognition have gotten better. Increased usage in recent years has created a seamless understanding of our language today. AI-powered devices can grasp not only the words spoken but the meaning and intent behind the words far more intuitively. 

For example, in your car, speak to your in-auto voice assistant to say that your body feels too warm or cold, and the assistant will adjust the car’s A/C system accordingly. Or ask the assistant to direct you to the nearest grocery store, and the assistant will guide you there. These are both simple ways to illustrate how machine learning can become familiar with your voice. 

Retail businesses are using conversational AI in different ways, from simple Q & A interactions, to help-request situations, to learning information on different products, or deeper answers to ‘why?’ questions. Google’s Cloud services include strong text-to-speech models, including the BERT system, which allows for higher awareness of language context and faster understanding of voice models.

The distinctive aspects of voice-enabled shopping and voice commerce are that consumers can literally go through the entire purchasing process and buyer’s journey in just a few spoken attributes. Here’s a typical example of a buyer’s journey using conversational AI: 

  • Problem: “Alexa: Why do I need an air purifier?
  • Solution: “Alexa: What is the best air purifier?”
  • Search: “Alexa: I would like to buy an air purifier. What is available now?”
  • Investigation: “Alexa: Tell me more.”
  • Purchase: “Alexa: Buy it now.”

The potential for conversational AI is huge across the board. Already, conversational AI is used extensively in financial services and insurance applications. Banks and insurers are utilizing voice technology to help broaden the scope of self-services; lower the time for insurance claim resolution, make consumer workflows more insightful; and better detect identity fraud. Retailers are enabling voice-powered transactions, search content, and things like proactive order tracking. 

These advancements in voice technology show a closer connection between computers and humans. Instead of companies having a person handle menial, repetitive tasks throughout a workday, conversational AI can take that place and connect with search and visual technologies as well. This way, the thinking goes, people can move to more cerebral forms of work, allowing them to reach more of their own human capabilities. 


Blutag Voice Commerce

Blutag is excited to be in the midst of this voice technology explosion. We are the retail technology solution that empowers ecommerce brands to connect with their customers. Our voice engagement platform for ecommerce lets customers shop without having to open an app or launch a web tab. Your customers can reorder products, track deliveries, check order status, explore FAQs, and add items to their shopping carts in a simple conversational way. 

We have integrations for the leading ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, Big Commerce, WooCommerce as well as Custom systems. This means you can use our voice-enabled commerce tools like voice-powered store locator utilities, order status and delivery notifications, spoken product reordering prompts, and AI-powered conversational FAQ functions. 

Give your customers the power to speak directly with their favorite brands using Blutag voice commerce technology

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