Guest post by Manish from E2M Solutions
Undoubtedly, the best ways for ecommerce businesses to stay relevant and competitive in the market is to incorporate the latest technology and keep up on what’s trending in the industry. However, following all of the latest strategies simply because they are popular for the moment is not necessarily the best move. This is not only expensive; it can cause your team to lose focus on building an experience that customers actually want.
However, there are some tech trends that prove to be highly effective in terms of boosting conversions and improving the customer experience. One of these technological trends influencing consumer behaviour is incorporating voice search into your sales strategies.
According to a recent report from Narvar, 24% of online consumers have used a voice search application to look for products, and that number is only expected to increase in the upcoming years. Failing to adapt and utilize this technology could cause you to miss out on this growing demographic of online shoppers.
But, what does the future of voice-enabled shopping look like for ecommerce companies?
1. The Battle Against Amazon Will Get Even Steeper
Image credit: Narvar
With voice tools like Alexa, you have Amazon using a standalone tool to help peddle their products via voice. This creates a closed ecosystem where there is simply no way for small ecommerce sites to sell products outside of Amazon.
The Narvar report also found that there was a 42% increase in voice-enabled device ownership and a 41% jump in purchases made by them, with Amazon’s Echo and Alexa holding the top spot as the most popular device used.
As the little ecommerce businesses look for ways to stay competitive against Amazon, it is clear that incorporating this kind of technology is a smart move to make. While creating a unique device for your brand is most likely not a feasible (or smart) strategy, you can optimize your e-commerce site for voice search to rank for queries on other devices like Google Home.
In order to influence your SERP ranking, you will need to rethink some of your SEO practices to better align with voice queries. According to SEOClarity, most voice searches follow the natural language pattern of asking a question, so the majority of these queries begin with words like how and what, along with words like best, new, and easy.
Be sure to incorporate these types of keywords into your website’s content naturally, especially in product description pages. You will also want to put more effort into including Google Answer Box signals, as this is often where voice assistants pull content for single answers. Be sure to research long-tail phrases and offer topical relevancy for a higher chance of landing a prime spot on search engine real estate.
2. Social Selling Will Become a HUGE Weapon for Smaller Operations
Social media makes it easy to discover new things on the web, and customers are frequently using it as a first resource when looking for new products or brands. Now, voice search does not currently have a huge influence over social media, which is why it will be so powerful for smaller brands as voice takes over the search engines. People spend hours on social media every day. With closed, voice-fueled sales ecosystems becoming more prevalent, social selling will be a prime opportunity for smaller online retailers to promote their products outside of voice searches.
When you are selling products on social media, one primary way to ensure that you are prepared is to incorporate sales chatbots onto your social media profiles. Narvar reports that 29% of consumers interact with chatbots when shopping online because of the personalized product recommendations and fast service that they offer.
With Facebook and Kik being the two most common platforms currently offering this type of service, including a chatbot app integration on both your social profiles and ecommerce site support a multi-channel sales experience that customers appreciate.
3. Customer Retention Will be the Lifeblood of Online Commerce
Everyone knows how important customer retention is. However, with more and more ecommerce companies popping up and SEO becoming more complex with voice search, smaller operations will need to invest heavily in customer loyalty to stay relevant.
In order to increase customer loyalty, it is important that e-commerce brands do all that they can to offer an exceptional UX. A pleasant shopping experience from start to finish will incentivize customers to continue purchasing from that brand in the future. So, as voice search becomes more common-place, ecommerce businesses will need to understand the UX implications that this trend entails. Simply put, if people love shopping on your website, they won’t need to use voice search to find products.
According to Google’s findings, the majority of voice-enabled device users want brands to share information on promotions and sales, as well as offer personalized experiences that are relevant to their needs and preferences. This means that online stores will need to dig even deeper into customer behaviour data to ensure that these kinds of services are offered to their customers for a better UX.
It’s important that ecommerce businesses first understand why and how voice search is relevant so they can properly accommodate for it. By preparing ahead of time for the continuing upward growth of voice search, you are essentially future proofing your efforts.
Ecommerce brands should not be dismayed about new voice search technology becoming a popular option for customers. Though it certainly does come with a set of challenges, it also opens up a new avenue for brands to capture their audience’s attention and provide a seamless UX that leads to higher conversions.