Why More Retailers Are Optimizing For Voice Shopping
By now, most of us are familiar with voice commands. Whether it’s asking Siri for directions to the restaurant your friends picked out for dinner or telling Alexa to set a timer for heads-down working time, voice commands have quickly become part of people’s day-to-day lives.
Unsurprisingly, voice technology has also spread to online retail with consumers using voice search and voice shopping to identify and purchase products. The rapid growth of ecommerce, the adoption of voice-powered devices and the sheer convenience of speak-to-buy have snowballed and made voice shopping the fastest growing ecommerce trend of 2022. And this year is about to be even bigger.
Voice-powered commerce is here to stay, and savvy retailers are optimizing for voice shopping to maximize their prospective customer bases and increase sales. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is Voice Shopping?
Voice shopping is the process of leveraging technology to purchase items using voice commands. Consumers can shop through a device with a virtual assistant, such as a smart speaker with Amazon’s Alexa, or through a smartphone with a voice assistant app.
To use voice shopping, a user can simply tell the virtual assistant what they want to buy, and the assistant will add the item to the user’s shopping cart or purchase the item directly if the user has previously set up their payment information. Voice shopping can be convenient for users who want to make purchases quickly and easily, without having to manually search for items or enter payment information. This friction-free process means more consumers are speeding through checkout, which is boosting revenue one order at a time.
Voice shopping has become increasingly popular in recent years, largely due to the availability of virtual assistants and the convenience they offer. Smart speakers with virtual assistants have been particularly successful in driving the adoption of voice shopping, and as more consumers have begun using their smartphones’ voice assistant apps, voice shopping will keep growing in popularity.
Voice Shopping Statistics for 2023
Overall, the combination of convenient technology and widespread availability has helped to make voice shopping popular. And brands are cashing in. Online retailers and marketplace sellers are optimizing for voice shopping through smart speakers and virtual assistants, which has made it easier for consumers to find and purchase the products they want.
The latest voice shopping statistics tell the story:
- 75% of U.S. households will have a voice-enabled speaker by 2025. (Statista)
- 77% of American consumers use their smart speakers to search for products. (eMarketer)
- Seven in 10 consumers prefer making voice searches to manually typing their queries. (PWC)
- 22.7 million people used smart speakers to make a purchase in 2020, up from 17.2 million in 2018. (eMarketer)
- Roughly 43% of smart speaker owners use their devices to shop. (Adobe Digital Insights)
- 51% of smart speaker owners use their devices to find products. Of those, 22% will order directly, while 17% use the device to reorder previous purchases. (Forbes)
- Voice shopping generated $40 billion in 2022. (Statista)
Now that you can see how voice shopping became many consumers’ preferred method for product discovery and frictionless purchases, here are some reasons you need to be optimizing for voice shopping in 2023.
Reason #1: Growing Market
The market for voice shopping is only expected to grow in the coming years. As more and more consumers buy smart speakers and leverage the voice assistants in their smartphones, voice-powered activity will become more popular. In fact, these devices are essential for many households, and 65% say they can’t imagine returning to life before their Google Home or Amazon Echo.
Reason #2: Convenience
Voice shopping is convenient for consumers, as it allows them to buy items quickly and easily — even while multitasking. In today’s on-the-go society, having the ability to make hands-free purchases is a game changer. (Picture this: Placing an order for household essentials while driving, without taking one’s hands off the steering wheel.) By optimizing for voice shopping, retailers can make it even easier for customers to purchase products.
Reason #3: Competitive Advantage
As more retailers begin offering voice shopping, it will become increasingly important for your brand to differentiate itself. By optimizing for voice shopping, you can stand out from the competition and gain the advantage. And by optimizing first, you’ll be rewarded with the traffic of consumers who are already leveraging voice assistants to shop. Having a voice shopping optimized site is like being at the top of Google search results. Shoppers will find your online store first and are that much more likely to buy from you versus a competitor.
Reason #4: Customer Loyalty
Offering voice shopping can help retailers build customer loyalty by providing consumers with a convenient and easy way to shop. As any seller knows, when the shopping is easy, it leads to repeat purchases and long-term customer relationships. What’s more, it decreases your average customer acquisition costs so you get more bang for your buck. Increasing customer retention by just 5% can grow company revenue by up to 95%, so optimizing for voice shopping might be your most worthwhile strategy for 2023 and beyond. Want more tips? Our guide to boosting customer loyalty has even more tactics for getting customers to come back again and again.
How to Optimize for Voice Shopping
There are several ways to optimize your online store for voice shopping:
- Use clear, concise, and easy-to-understand language on your product pages. This will make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for using voice search.
- Optimize for long-tail keywords, which are more likely to be used in voice search queries. For example, a voice search query might be, “Where can I buy a red dress with a full skirt and a bow in the back?” rather than just “red dress.” For a refresher on keywords and ecommerce SEO, don’t miss our related guide.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly, as many voice searches are performed on smartphones.
- Consider using a natural language processing (NLP) tool to make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for using voice search.
- Integrate your online store with a voice shopping platform, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant, to make it easier for customers to purchase your products using voice commands.
- Use customer reviews and ratings to help customers make informed decisions and build trust in your products.
By following these tips, you can make your online store more accessible and easier to use for customers who prefer to shop using voice search.