‘Conversational platforms for digital commerce utilize natural language technologies using voice and messaging platforms. These are combined with machine learning and related technologies to enable people (and other machines) to discover and purchase goods and services via a dialogue with a machine.’ - Gartner
Customer experience is a dog-eat-dog world where customer journeys are strived to be effortless. In order to make the user journey frictionless; all interactions in the future are going to be multi-experience and multimodal, which goes beyond multi-channel. This means users can seamlessly switch between touchpoints and modes such as voice(auditory), text, and visual to provide delightful digital experiences. The idea is to make user life easy and convenient in all ways.
Commerce is closer to us than ever before. The prominent shifts in technology, cultures, and current events such as the COVID-19 pandemic has urged companies to be available and responsive wherever customers are and whenever required with utmost speed and accuracy via the technologies used by customers to interact on a daily basis.
Smartphones had forecasted this multi-experience future which is now joined by voice-driven smart home devices, connected cars, and smart gadgets in public spaces such as stores. One of the outturns of these developments is that our interactions with digital commerce technologies are moving beyond point and click, touch and swipe, and the search loop (search/navigate, view results, select product, rinse and repeat) to include the natural language interface — that of text and voice.
When a customer is satisfied with the interaction that he/she has with brands, they’re bound to bring more customers. Automation and the use of ML, NLP enabled chatbots aims to do precisely that. Enhancing your online presence and providing a great retail experience using voice chatbots will put you on the trajectory of growth beyond mere recovery. Today we are going to look at voice commerce technology for retail business owners and the reasons they should use voice bots in retail commerce.
What Does a Voice Recognition Bot Do for your Business?
Voice bots are intelligent virtual assistants that can be easily accessed using voice commands on a smart TV, speaker, or smartphone. Some examples of voice recognition bots include Google Home, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Microsoft Cortana. These AI voice bots have the capacity to recognize their user’s intent when they utter commands into these devices or apps.
The users can perform a variety of actions, such as browsing, searching products or services, online shopping, answering FAQs, and controlling other home applications or even appliances. Voice assistants operate using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to bring about accurate, intuitive, and contextual answers, adapt to the user’s preferences, and thereby improve the customization of the voice assistant’s interactions with the owner of the device or application by bringing them personalized solutions.
Customer-centric industries such as retail hopped onto this technology almost as soon as it arrived. It is clear to see how voice bots play a pivotal role in providing a comfortable and hassle-free retail experience to customers and businesses alike. The results include increased efficiency in operation, easier access to customers, and reduced costs, especially regarding customer service. The choices offered to customers today have spoilt them to a certain degree, where they expect the same comfort of being fed what they require by simply speaking the words, and voice assistants do just that.
Some Voice Commerce Statistics for Your Consideration:
74% of users state that they use intelligent virtual assistants to search for and buy products, create shopping lists, and check the status of their order.
About 58% of customers use voice chatbots or chat assistants to call contacts, play music, check locations on maps, make appointments, and book cabs or set reminders.
Over 5 in 10 customers use chatbots to research banking and insurance services, check their account balance, pay credit card bills, or make fund transfers.
Reasons That Your Business Needs To Adopt Voice-Based Commerce And Voice Assistants
Round The Clock Availability: Voice bots work on artificial intelligence and conversational AI, which brings human interference to a minimum only when the user demands. In retail voice bot development, availability is a big factor since a user could fancy some product at 2 AM and want to order it impulsively right then. This presents an excellent opportunity for brands to cash in on impulsive consumer behavior, especially during lockdowns and sales, to help customers find exactly what they are looking for and make it easier for them to make the purchase.
Valuable Insights On Consumer Behavior: Voice bot technology also helps a business to mine data and accumulate valuable information about the customer's preference through their search patterns. Voice bots can listen to conversations, searches, and interactions and learn what the user is currently speaking about or searching a lot, providing them intuitive and customized results. Advertisements also work in the same way for the retail sector where a potential customer can be targeted based on their voice inputs so they can be converted.
Merge Online And Offline Retail: While e-commerce resulted in the closure of several physical retail businesses, the offline retail industry is far from obsolete. Even when the online retail sector is about to reach $73 million by 2022, offline retail will still bring customers a user experience of comfort and familiarity where the humanness of it all wins. For example, voice integration can help merge online and offline retail for brands by helping customers find the same products they look at online in the brand’s retail stores so they can try it out before buying. They can also visit the inventory of a retail store online, view offers, and sale discounts before making a visit, which provides a well-rounded retail experience to them.
Bring Interactive Content Through Voice Commerce: Users today thrive on content consumption. On average, a smartphone user spends about 3-4 hours scrolling for content, be it on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or any social platforms that mix advertisements for brands as per the customer’s preferences in between subscribed content. These platforms also include online shopping applications that can include great steal deals for customers to grab at a moment’s notice. Google is testing its retail features on YouTube by adding surveys, product descriptions, and prices below the videos. Consumers require someone to guide them through the purchase while they are being entertained by online content, which is where Conversational AI comes in. Voice bots can enable prompt video powered retail for such brands.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed businesses to calibrate and reshape operations in the retail sector. For an industry that heavily depends upon consumerism, bringing out the technological big guns can help them create a better user experience.
At Yellow Messenger, our quality dialogue flow enhanced with proprietary NLP engine powers one of the most meticulous, intelligent virtual assistants. We have worked with global business leaders and organizations that set the tone of the latest technological additions to bring their audience an experience unlike any other. For more information regarding Conversational AI and Voice Bots for your retail business, book a demo session with us, today.
Aavi Mathuan is a marketer, web dev and content creator at Yellow Messenger. Her core interests lie in the space of technology and brand psychology. Her natural affinity towards design, content and storytelling is refreshingly perceptive and insightful. She lives with her happy puppy in Bangalore, India.