"Hey Google", "Hello Alexa", "Hi Siri", sounds pretty normal nowadays. Voice search is growing rapidly. By the end of 2019, even 60% of all smartphone users had used voice search once or more.
Voice search is a normal search query done with your voice. Your device converts speech into text and the search engine presents the desired results.
Despite this, the voice controls are not yet widely used to make purchases. Yet this is a matter of time. We would like to look at the future of voice search in E-commerce with you.
What is Voice Commerce?
Voice commerce, also known as V-commerce, allows consumers to order products online using voice commands. As a user, you tell your mobile device which product you want to search for. V-commerce offers an alternative to the keyboard and mouse.
The main devices that enable speech technology to interact are smartphones and tablets with virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant and smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Which products are most suitable?
There is no clear answer to the question of which products are most suitable to buy using voice commerce. Nevertheless, a number of basic rules apply:
- Simple, self-explanatory products
In most cases, the customer is already familiar with the product, the use of the product and the price is not too high. Consider, for example, tissues.
- Digital services
It is easy to order digital services such as films, music and audio via voice search. The customer generally knows exactly what he is looking for with these types of products.
- Repeat purchases
The convenient thing about repeat purchases is that the virtual assistant knows exactly what to order. Household items and hygiene products are perfect repeat purchases.
The better a virtual assistant gets to know the user, the easier it is to order products via V-commerce.
Bol.com is one of the pioneers in the field of V-commerce. Since 2018 they have developed a number of applications for Google Assistant. For example, a voice assistant will help with finding the perfect gift or asking about the status of your order. A good tip from Bol.com: start small. Choose a suitable starting point and work it out completely before you start expanding.
The difference between search and voice search
When searching for something on the internet, there are a number of important differences between regular search and voice search:
- Voice searches are longer
- In voice search only the first position counts
- Clearer search intent with voice search
- Local is of great importance
Voice search optimisation
There are several ways to optimize your webshop for voice search. The most important thing is and remains a good SEO foundation. So first of all make sure that security, speed, content, authority, etc. are in order. Good findability with voice search starts with good findability in the standard search results.
In addition, it is important for voice commerce to share mandatory essential product information. This product information consists of three parts:
- Technical information
These are the main characteristics of the product or service: the name, dimensions, color, quantity, weight, material and so on.
- Logistical information
This is information about the packaging unit, shipping options, delivery time, reflection period, payment method and the complaints procedure.
- Commercial Information
The price the consumer has to pay for the product or service, including VAT and any shipping costs. With commercial information, you can also mention things like certificates and energy labels.
Optimizing for V-commerce is actually largely the same as optimizing your textual content.
Customer contact with voice search
And we go one step further. In addition to ordering products and services, it is also possible to have customer contact through voice search. Through the programs "Google Actions" and "Alexa Skills" consumers can turn on the voice assistant of a company or brand. This assistant can be set up by you as a company to, for example, answer questions and thus give the user an even better shopping experience.
The five most important V-commerce tips
Clearly, voice search is becoming increasingly important. Also in the field of e-commerce. The best way to compete in V-commerce is to start as soon as possible. How? We have listed the five most important V-commerce tips for you:
- Go for position "zero"
Number one is not the best position in Google. There is also a position "zero". You achieve this position by becoming a featured Google snippet.
- The difference between spoken and typed searches
It is important to understand that these searches are different from each other in order to compete in the world of voice commerce. Searches should be treated as "conversation." Are you curious about the weather? Then type "Utrecht again" in Google. You ask Siri "Siri, what will the weather be like tomorrow in Utrecht?"
- Know your customer
It is always important to know your customer, but in the world of voice commerce it is even more important. You need to know who is responding on the other side of the dialogue and with who you are in conversation. Also keep in mind that people who search through voice search are often busy or on the road and so they probably search with their mobile. Therefore it is important to optimize for mobile.
- Answer questions clearly and concisely
In your keyword research, take questions and answers into account and not just individual keywords. Search engines are becoming increasingly human. So a semantic strategy takes precedence over a keyword-based strategy.
- Think locally
Research shows that mobile voice search queries are three times more likely to be locally based. So make sure that (part of) your content and landing pages are also inserted locally.
French retail chain Carrefour has launched a speech-based grocery shopping service. With the help of your Google Assistant you can search and order groceries via your personal profile. The voice shopping experience is an important part of Carrefour's e-commerce strategy.
Voice commerce and voice search only succeed if they become more efficient than other forms of purchasing. When a consumer asks Siri, Alexa or Google to buy something, it should not be the case that they get to hear a long list of product information.
On the one hand, the purchase must be quick to arrange, but on the other hand, the consumer must have all the necessary information to prevent a bad bargain. In short: the process, your website and communication must be set up accordingly..
At Brandsom, we specialise in E-commerce and specifically in marketplaces. We keep an eye on all developments in E-commerce and V-commerce to advise our customers and help with the implementation of new functionalities.