AI and the Rise of Voice Commerce: The Future of Shopping

Voice commerce, also known as v-commerce, is the process of using voice-activated technology, such as smart speakers and digital assistants, to make purchases online. With the increasing popularity of virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, voice commerce is becoming an increasingly important trend in the world of retail. According to a study by OC&C Strategy Consultants, voice commerce is expected to reach $40 billion in the US and the UK by 2022. As AI technology advances, businesses need to adapt to this new way of shopping to stay ahead of the competition.

One of the key benefits of voice commerce is its convenience. With voice-activated technology, customers can make purchases without having to type or even look at a screen. They can simply speak to their device and have their order processed quickly and easily. This ease of use can help businesses to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. Joel Rendle, previously Senior Manager at Amazon, cautions against complacency. “We are seeing users and consumers gravitate ever further towards voice-activated searches. Not investing in voice-driven commerce is a sure way to miss out on exponentially increased turn-over.”

AI plays a crucial role in making voice commerce possible. Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning are used to understand and interpret customer queries, enabling digital assistants to provide relevant and accurate responses. This means that customers can get personalised recommendations based on their preferences, making their shopping experience even more tailored.

As the popularity of voice-activated technology grows, businesses must ensure that their online stores are optimised for voice commerce. This means using data analysis to understand the language that customers use when searching for products and optimising content accordingly. It also means providing clear and concise information to digital assistants, so they can accurately process customer queries.

According to a report by Juniper Research, the use of voice assistants is set to triple to 8 billion devices by 2023. This represents a significant opportunity for businesses to reach customers in a new and innovative way. However, it also means that businesses must ensure that their online stores are optimised for voice commerce if they want to stay competitive.

As AI technology continues to advance, the potential for voice commerce is almost limitless. For example, retailers could use voice-activated technology to provide real-time updates on product availability and delivery times. They could also use it to provide personalised recommendations based on a customer’s purchase history, making their shopping experience even more tailored.

In the UK, the adoption of voice-activated technology has been relatively slow compared to other countries. However, this is expected to change as more people become comfortable with the technology and its benefits become clearer. According to a survey by PwC, 52% of UK consumers believe that virtual assistants will become the norm for shopping within the next five years. Joel Rendle sees investment into voice-driven commerce from many major retailers.

The rise of voice commerce is an exciting development for businesses looking to improve customer engagement and increase sales. As AI technology continues to advance, it’s important for businesses to optimise their online stores for voice commerce and provide personalised recommendations to customers. By doing so, they can stay ahead of the competition and take advantage of the many benefits of this new way of shopping.