The e-commerce revolution of the past two decades gave us the freedom to buy goods and deliver services online. What took form as a novelty soon became a way of life. It is now something some of us cannot imagine living without it. We order everything from online food to lifestyle supplies on the web –just with the help of some easy clicks and taps. E-commerce application development has indeed changed the world. The domain is shifting products at a rapid rate. It is also opening up new business options for everyone with a device and a good Internet connection. With the advent of revolutionary technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Voice Recognition, we are entering the next phase of digital commerce that is vCommerce. As a retailer, you can take help from a reputed e-commerce development company to avail the benefits.
The tap or click of a button will soon become a distant memory. Rather than placing orders with the help of a screen, consumers will now be simply speaking out loud.
Voice assistants powered by the revolutionary Artificial Intelligence technology will soon be helping us book hotel rooms, flight tickets, and even order gifts for special occasions. By referring to the purchase history, voice assistants will now offer suggestions while placing orders on our behalf.
The significant evolution towards vCommerce is making its impact on the digital world. In the United States, Echo –the voice-activated device from Amazon has already been activated and used by over 8 million homes. Consumers are nowadays using ‘Alexa’ for turning lights on & off and even checking local traffic. The smart machine may also place an order based on your prior purchasing history. The product will be delivered to your door the following day.
vCommerce in Action
The cutting-edge Voice-enabled technology on modern devices serves to be a goldmine for leading marketplaces like Amazon. The company forecasts to hit an overwhelming $10 billion in terms of total revenues for the sale of the voice-activated device. At the same time, RBC –a leading investment bank estimates that Amazon will have around 500 million active customers by the end of 2021.
Other technology and retail giants, such as Google and Walmart, have also teamed up to develop a comparable service. The motive is to make thousands of products instantly available to the end-users by simply saying “Ok Google.” Shoppers who go forward with linking their respective Walmart account with Google Home will receive ample benefits from personalized suggestions based on their previous purchases.
The Ever-increasing Popularity of the Voice technology
The rapid adoption of voice-enabled technology implies that the voice assistants will be helping with a myriad of the ever-increasing task list. Studies have revealed that around 20 percent of mobile searches are nowadays made with the help of voice. It is expected that more than 20 million voice-enabled devices would have global access in the next years.
As per another study report, it is observed that the overall changes in consumer behavior and preferences are resulting in the increased adoption of the revolutionary voice technology. The major reason for the same is increased awareness along with an improved comfort level as depicted amongst young consumers.
Major improvements in NLP (Natural Language Processing), Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are linked with high-end smartphone capabilities along with rapid cloud computing strategies for making voice an attractive component. For businesses of all scales and sizes, it only represents a single aspect –opportunity.
Getting On the vCcommerce Bandwagon
Amazon’s incredible success with AI technology is proof enough to establish its revolution. As per a study report, it is observed that the e-commerce giant and its adoption of AI for ensuring quick delivery are disrupting other retailers in the industry across the world.
V-commerce with AI can be considered as a swimming or sinking issue. For your small company, it is high time that you embark with voice capability and artificial intelligence.
As the initial step, you should ensure that your website is easy to discover with the help of trending voice assistants like Google, Cortana, and Siri. Go through the website’s content strategy while including search terms that potential buyers say rather than typing. For instance, it could include ‘finding the nearest dentist,’ or ‘where can I find shoes online?’
Ensure that your business is listed as well as verified on Google while featuring a valid phone number and address. You can ask Google or Siri to search for a similar business like your domain. Observe their strategies and analyze the areas wherein you need to pay attention concerning online discoverability.
Leveraging the vCcommerce Revolution
Making the most of the V-commerce revolution does not necessitate spending millions of dollars on research, as Amazon does. High-end IT developers and Amazon have made it easier for other businesses by executing the harder aspects of the technology revolution. They have already paved the way for bringing into effect the role of talking gadgets and devices.
With Voice Assistants, you have the capability of offering sale notifications and reminders along with special offers that personalize the overall user experience. The only part that is left for your business is to analyze how integrating with the next-Generation AI-enabled voice technology set up your business for the future. You can hire mobile app development services from a reliable custom software development company to observe the desired results.
vCommerce –the Reason AI is Entering Every Consumer’s Device
Every consumer device out there is now a medium for the rapid introduction of high-end AI assistants into our day-to-day lives. Think about Echo, Pixel, Chromebook, and iPhone with Google inside your ear. Smart cars, smart homes, speakers, and smart glasses –all of them enabled with a voice. This empowers the technology V-commerce or Voice-powered commerce.
The all-new Chromebook by Google –PixelBook, is available as a Voice-enabled technology featuring the Google Assistant button. Android phones, particularly those manufactured by Google, can respond to the command “OK Google.” At the same time, iPhones respond to “OK Siri.” Amazon, known for its Echo technology, is now powering the voice assistive technology with the help of high-end solutions like Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Fire TV, Connect, and Show. You will also encounter Sonos in the given domain. You will also come across Cortana with Microsoft being installed on smart speakers. The list simply goes on.
vCommerce –the Future of Commerce
It is believed that by the end of this year, virtual assistants will be participating in a wide range of commercial interactions between businesses and people. As per a study report, it is estimated that almost 50 percent of online users will prefer shopping through vCommerce by the time of 2026. Technology for voice search is believed to be 3 times faster than typing and 20% more accurate. Statistics reveal that 19 percent of people make purchases with the help of a voice-controlled device. By the end of the year, it is expected that a major percentage of global retailers will have dedicated plans in place for accommodating the technology of voice commerce.
Most customers are already turning to voice search for improving the entire shopping experience. This is why voice commerce serves to be a winning strategy for boosting the sale of products or services for retailers.
Benefits of vCommerce for Retailers
With an ever-increasing percentage of people shopping online, retailers must attract customers to their stores instead of making it a necessary chore. With AI-enabled V-commerce technology, retailers are capable of engaging with end customers in a new way.
There are a few ways you may integrate voice commerce into your e-commerce site to make online buying more convenient. Many companies have considered using voice search as a means to replace the entire mobile or web commerce search process. However, it can turn out to be a complicated and expensive procedure relying completely on high-end voice recognition technology. Also, when you tend to rely completely on voice search features, it marginalizes programs related to visual commerce –the norm in a wide range of e-commerce experiences.
One of the benefits of voice commerce is the reduction of time customers spend while deciding between buying something and completing the purchase. Some additional benefits of v-commerce for retailers are:
One of the most effective ways of implementing voice commerce in one’s business model is through repeat orders. In the given case, customers are already aware of what they wish to purchase. It could be something they are buying every week or every month. Therefore, they do not require visual confirmation during every purchase.
When you allow customers to order a particular item with the help of voice commands, it helps in cutting down the overall time in logging into the app, browsing through the catalog, and spanning the checkout process.
Another major benefit of repeat orders is when the customer might not remember the exact type or name of the product. However, they know that they had a positive experience with the same. With repeat orders, they are not required to remember the product details. This makes it more likely that they might re-order.
Repeat orders are highly common for perishable items like groceries, food items, consumable products, cosmetic, and medical products. With such assurances of repeat orders, retailers can benefit significantly.
#Setting up the Alexa Skill
If you wish to leverage the capability of voice search with the help of Alexa, you will be required to set up an Alexa Skill for the e-commerce store. A skill is typically a term by Amazon for apps on the voice assistant. It is a collection of services that Alexa may utilize to execute certain tasks ranging from turning on lights to playing audiobooks.
When you create Alexa Skill, you can deliver a proper voice search capability to the e-commerce store without having the requirement of selling your products through large retailers.
#Improved Customer Engagement
Retaining customers turn out to be one of the most overwhelming tasks for businesses out there. With abundant exposure to the latest e-commerce trends, you can achieve your business goals by maximizing customer engagement.
Voice commerce ensures ample insight into the given set of services. It serves to be the same for all competitors. Therefore, it will require major steps. You can work upon voice commerce for improving customer engagement. This can be achieved by introducing technical support, automated chatbot, or relevant customer support services.
The advent of conversational e-commerce through reliable website development services is a major instance of customer engagement.
Following the impact created by visual merchandising, the significance of voice commerce helps in covering the best streamlining experiences of the entire product catalog. It helps businesses to place the right service or product at the right time in front of the right people.
The same is extends to the concept of product accessibility. Companies are capable of improving product placement with the help of voice commerce for introducing first-timers to other customers based on voice search.
The technology of voice commerce or v-commerce also allows customers to browse the category of high-rated products in a single instance. While modern-day smart devices are personalized to reveal products based on ratings and price, the new technology is capable of setting the ongoing e-commerce trends in the same service range.
Small-sized and middle-sized enterprises can create instant sales with the help of voice commerce. Customers having access to voice-based smart devices can be easily converted into prospective buyers. The overall significance of v-commerce extends to seasoned retailers as well. The interactive online interface delivers access to the best audience with the help of voice-enabled devices.
How is Conversational AI Helping E-commerce Brands?
Conversational AI (Artificial Intelligence), often known as vCommerce in the e-commerce industry, enables companies to use virtual assistants and chatbots to build winning connections with end customers.
AI bots are capable of comprehending complicated scenarios while also identifying human sentiments. These then indulge in human-like, personalized conversations. They listen to buyers to gain knowledge, offer value, and improve customer experiences through increased intelligence derived from relevant data. Such functional and cognitive bots are capable of significantly helping e-commerce businesses or retailers to deliver improved customer satisfaction while accomplishing improved scores for Net Promoter.
Conversational AI through V-commerce is capable of excelling in boosting e-commerce sales. A recent study reports reveal that conversational AI is responsible for around 67 percent increase in overall sales.
Role of Conversational AI in Improving Customer Experiences in E-Commerce
The recent rise of voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence in the e-commerce and retail industry is emerging as the ultimate game-changer. Conversational, voice-activated AI is capable of automating time-consuming, rudimentary shopping queries in real-time. While Amazon and Google continue to be the industry leaders in voice recognition and speech services and devices, new and formidable companies emerge daily.
The usage of speech bots in e-commerce is greatly influenced by the demographic of young customers.
At the same time, it is proving extremely beneficial to the elderly population, particularly those who have difficulty typing. You can imagine older adults wanting to purchase particular merchandise or other items online. The presence of an online voice-activated search and buying capability can serve as a boon for such individuals.
Several factors govern the overall popularity of v-commerce AI:
- Ease of Access and Fast: Customers can consider shopping while even doing some work –like driving. They can voice out the respective commands to the device’s voice assistant and achieve what they wish.
- No More Queues: Constant support for use cases and recurring purchases, such as order cancellation, tracking, incentives, payments, discounts, and offers, may be readily simplified while still being supplied without difficulty.
- 24/7 Accessibility: Customers can receive constant support as they can buy at any time, anywhere, and almost anything they want. Customer care also becomes seamless.
- Personalized Shopping: E-commerce brands, or retailers can make use of relevant customer data, preferences, and behavior for ensuring product recommendations, satisfying customers, and delivering relevant products.
Key Limitations to the User Interface of Conversational AI
The UI or User Interface of Conversational AI is very new. Therefore, it tends to face some challenges as well as gaps responsible for limiting the overall potential. With human-machine conversation becoming highly natural, refined, and sophisticated, the more complicated it becomes to develop the same.
A conversational AI-based UI can feature an endless number of unexpected and unidentified inputs from the users. When users converse with the bot, they have the same ability as any other person to say infinite.
Furthermore, speech conversations can become quite hazy due to many pronunciations, accents, background noise, interruptions, and poor articulation. Voice bots may potentially misinterpret what end-users say if the underlying speech recognition technology fails.
That is why it is recommended that e-commerce businesses contemplate building voice assistants or speech bots by keeping in mind the behavior of users. They should think through the usual conversational flow as it will be related to your brand’s products or services for anticipating and responding as per the responses by the end-users.
Another major factor that retailers & e-commerce brands need to consider is related to privacy and security surrounding the development process and implementation of bots. The brands should always be attentive to the customers’ data while protecting the same at all times. Brands should use data only whenever required while obeying the respective rules & regulations related to the available data.
Voice Commerce for Small Retailers
Indeed, every brand out there will not have the availability of ample resources for building a dedicated AI-enabled v-commerce platform for its consumers shopping with voice commands. However, this does not imply that they cannot get on board with the trending technology.
Brands having access to the required resources should find value by including the voice search functionality on the respective shopping apps. This makes the concept of re-ordering a highly viable and revenue-generating aspect of v-commerce. As you restock on everyday products, the trust serves to be a highly realistic use case in the scenario of a voice order instead of placing the order without research on the product.
For a wide group of independent retailers or sellers, the best option out there is to be ahead of the v-commerce curve by ensuring that your products are featured in the results related to voice search capabilities. The most profitable place for your brand or product information is in the featured snippets of the result pages of Google. The given set of ‘position zero’ excerpts is obtained from search results in the form of the most relevant results to a specific voice search query. Around 40 percent of such results that are served to the end-users are obtained out of featured snippets.
You should note that queries in the form of voice search can be distinct from the standard query. Searching for and developing content that is capable of answering natural-language queries serves to be a powerful way of increasing the overall ranking in the voice-based search results. Make sure that you are addressing common questions with the help of SEO-centric initiatives –like through the blog, FAQs, or directly through the product page.
Leading v-commerce platforms ensure that customer mapping, ease of cataloging, and real-time interactions. In other words, retailers may dedicate more time to sell and less time to maintaining their online store. V-commerce serves to be the technology that will be leading the retail industry towards a lucrative future while paving the way for AI development at the same time.