Voice Search is revolutionizing online shopping as we know it. Technology has changed the way people shop online and one of the latest trends in online shopping is voice search, allowing users to shop using their voice instead of typing out search queries. This technology has been integrated into popular voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa, and it has become widely used by online shoppers. While voice search was initially used mainly for conducting searches or requesting virtual assistance, it is now becoming a more popular way to shop online. Online shoppers can use voice search to browse products, add items to their shopping carts or lists, and even make purchases in a more convenient and hands-free approach. In addition to voice search capabilities, the influence of chatbots like ChatGPT in online shopping cannot be ignored. ChatGPT will significantly improve the accuracy of voice search results by understanding the intent behind the user’s query and providing relevant answers. ChatGPT is also able to provide more personalized and conversational results than traditional search engines. As a result, retail businesses need to optimize their websites for voice search to stay ahead in the competition.
History of voice search
Voice search technology has been around since the 1950’s, but it was not developed enough to be used in commercial applications. In the 1990’s, voice search technology became more popular as companies like IBM and AT&T developed speech recognition software. The rise of smartphones and digital personal assistants like Siri and Google Assistant around 2010 has helped spur the popularity of voice search. Today, voice search is becoming increasingly common, with more than half of all searches expected to be conducted through voice. Advances in natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) are making voice search more accurate and reliable than ever before, and it is likely that the technology will continue to play an increasingly important role in our lives in the years ahead.
There is a significant increase in demand for voice-based search in the retail sector, as more customers turn to virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri for product recommendations, purchase updates, and search queries. More than 20 million US consumers purchased retail products and groceries using voice search tools between the years 2018 and 2020. The use of voice assistants for shopping is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, with transactions expected to reach $164 billion by 2025.
How does voice search work?
Voice search is primarily based on artificial intelligence (AI) and its capability to transcribe human speech to text. By giving customers the option to use their voice, retailers enable them to search for any product within their online store catalog without any keyboard input. Voice search personalizes shopping experiences with the use of recommendations based on individual preferences.
For example, if a customer uses AmazonFresh to buy their daily needs and is ordering them through Alexa, the voice assistant can suggest items that match their diet based on the preferences that have been communicated to the device. Later in the article, we will share more examples of brands that incorporated voice. Voice search stands to live at the heart of how retail marketers guide the customer experience into the future. Behind every voice query lies data full of real-time intent and context, more than perhaps any other source of shopper information.
What makes voice search such a popular trend for online shopping?
Search with voice is convenient because users can easily shop while performing other tasks like cooking, cleaning or even just lounging on the couch. It eliminates the need to sit in front of a screen and type out search queries, making the shopping experience more accessible for people with limited mobility or vision disabilities. Another factor that is fueling the growth of voice search is the increased accuracy and less friction in the shopping experience. By using voice search, users can check out products and add them to their shopping cart or list with the help of their voice assistants, making shopping more intuitive and less cumbersome. As more shoppers turn to voice search to shop online, businesses must also adapt to this growing trend.
How can retailers adapt to voice search
Retailers can optimize their online presence for voice search by using schema markups, simplifying the shopping process, getting Alexa skills, Google actions or Cortana skills, tagging and categorizing products correctly, improving brand awareness, going international, testing and trialing. They can also optimize product detail pages for voice search commands by including more conversational language in the product descriptions and addressing potential questions that might come up during a voice search. Incorporating natural language processing (NLP) technology can help your site better understand and respond to voice search queries. Other things retailers can do to adapt to Voice Search are:
- Focus on long-tail keywords: Voice searches are usually more conversational in nature. Retailers need to optimize their website for long-tail keywords and phrases that match the way people talk;
- Optimize for featured snippets: The goal of voice search is to provide quick and easy answers. Retailers should focus on providing answers that can appear as a featured snippet in Google search results;
- Improve mobile experience: Voice search is typically done through mobile devices. Retailers should develop a mobile-friendly website that loads quickly and is easy to navigate.
- Leverage local SEO: Many voice searches are location-based. Retailers should optimize their website for local SEO, including adding business addresses, phone numbers, and local keywords;
- Implement structured data: Retailers should use structured data to help search engines better understand their website content. This helps to ensure that their products appear in voice search results;
- Provide detailed product information: Retailers should provide detailed product information that answers common questions users may ask through voice search;
- Utilize voice assistants: Retailers can offer customers the ability to place orders through voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant;
- Optimize for natural language: Voice search is more natural and conversational in nature. Retailers should optimize their content to match the way people speak, including using natural language and avoiding technical jargon.
Famous retailers that adopted voice search
Some famous retail brands that have adopted voice search include:
- Burger King: Burger King used voice search technology with a 15-second Super Bowl television spot that included the phrase, “OK, Google, what is the Whopper burger?” When aired the Google Home devices started telling listeners about Burger King’s Whopper burger, unable to differentiate between consumer voice and the television audio. It was a stunt, but the strategy worked and the campaign went viral, finding a completely new way to capitalize on voice search technology;
- Whirlpool partnered with Amazon to create a line of intelligent and voice-activated appliances that can converse with customers, answer questions, and even provide guidance about things like what cycle to use for a particular type of laundry;
- Purina: Pet brand Purina launched Ask Purina, an Alexa skill that people can use to find dog breed information. By getting involved in people’s lives at the point when they’re deciding which type of dog to adopt, Purina is solidifying itself as the de facto provider of pet food and supplies before families have had an opportunity to consider any other brands;
- Esteé Lauder: Search engine searches can lead to numerous answers to a single question. Esteé Lauder partnered with Google Home to create a voice-activated skincare expert. The expert was named “Liv,” and could answer people’s questions about all things beauty related. Able to give one answer, it often recommended Esteé Lauder products in her reply.
Concluding, voice search is a growing trend for online shopping, and it is here to stay. As brands and business owners, it’s essential to stay on top of this trend and adapt your site to make it more voice search friendly. Doing so will help ensure that you remain competitive in the evolving Retail e-commerce landscape.
ChatGPT simulates human-like conversations through text or voice
In addition to voice search capabilities, the influence of chatbots like ChatGPT and the new Bing in online shopping cannot be ignored. Chatbots are AI-powered programs that can simulate human-like conversations through text or voice. They can offer personalized assistance to shoppers, answering their questions, recommending products, and even completing transactions.
With the integration of chatbots, customers can have a seamless shopping experience without ever having to leave the chat interface. They can quickly find and purchase what they need while engaging in a more interactive and conversational way. This technology has effectively bridged the gap between online and in-store shopping, providing a more personalized and efficient experience for consumers.
As voice search and chatbot technology continue to advance, we can expect to see more integration in the e-commerce space, leading to a more seamless and sophisticated shopping experience for customers. The use of AI-powered solutions like ChatGPT and the new Bing will only continue to grow in importance as businesses strive to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.