Voice Shopping: Prepare for the New Way to Shop

Today’s consumers are more connected to technology than ever before. With recent strides in technology and the Internet of Things, the internet is available anywhere from a smartphone to a new refrigerator. Consumers today have the option of shopping in local stores, on the internet and, now, with their voice through a variety of different devices. This could mean your customers are voice shopping today or are incredibly likely to start voice shopping in the future.

What Consumers Buy with Voice Shopping Today

Voice assistants are gaining in popularity today and are available on smartphones, tablets, and stand-alone devices like the Amazon Echo or the Google Home. Right now, 32% of consumers own a stand-alone voice assistant, but this number is expected to grow before the end of the year. While only 3% of owners use these devices to purchase items right now, this is expected to grow to at least 40% within the next three years.

Consumers can purchase many different types of items with the voice assistants, making it incredibly easy for them to shop online. Some of the items most likely to be purchased include household goods, groceries, personal care products, and groceries. However, as has been seen before, stores that don’t get ahead of new trends like this might be missing out on a huge advantage. While Amazon and Google are only working with a limited number of retailers right now, it’s likely they’ll begin to work with smaller retailers as well in the near future.

Small businesses can go ahead and start preparing for their customers to be able to shop via a voice assistant at their business. They’ll want to start working on a variety of different techniques designed to make it more likely consumers will find their products when shopping online, including using the right keyword phrases, creating a Google business listing, or by starting to sell products on Amazon.

The Frequency of Voice Shopping Today

Statistics show that voice shopping is slowly getting started, with about 3% of those who own a stand-alone voice assistant using it to purchase something. However, the number of people who own a voice assistant is rising quickly as more and more people find a use for them in their home. As they become more commonplace and the options for voice shopping increase, more people are expected to start shopping with their voice assistants for a variety of different products. Experts do agree that this should change quite a bit within the next few years, potentially leading to consumers spending around 18% of their total shopping budget with voice shopping.

The Future of Voice Shopping

Consumers already use a voice assistant on their smartphone for searches online, from the weather for the day to scores for their favorite sports team. This is becoming second nature to many people today, and it’s leading to more people starting to use their voice for shopping as well as searching for information. Soon, instead of making a list and going shopping, they’ll be able to tell their voice assistant to order new household supplies, purchase a shirt they want or order food to be delivered. They will even be able to order groceries when they get low on something, making it possible for people to shop for whatever they want without leaving their home or sitting down at the computer.

Right now, consumers mainly order products with voice shopping by using their smartphone or a stand-alone voice assistant. However, that’s likely to change in the future as well. Vehicle manufacturers are including built-in voice assistants with their vehicles. Refrigerators and other products are being designed and sold with a built-in voice assistant. In the near future, just about any electronic device will be able to accept voice commands. All of this is going to make it even easier for consumers to simply talk to a device and order the products they might want.

Preparing a Business for Voice Shopping

Results for text-based searches today are based on a Google algorithm that determines the right websites to help a consumer find what they’re looking for. This isn’t available for voice searches right now, but that doesn’t mean businesses can’t start preparing to sell to customers via voice shopping. There are a few things they can do to get ready for voice shopping and to make it easier for more people to find their business when voice shopping becomes more prominent.

  • Consider Selling on Amazon – One of the main voice assistants in use by consumers today is the Echo, produced by Amazon. Voice shopping on this device is limited at this time to items sold on Amazon, but this could be a great way to break into voice shopping. Listing products on Amazon means they’re available for consumers using an Echo device to shop for products. You can start selling products via voice shopping right away instead of waiting for Amazon to allow more retailers to sell products with their device.
  • Use More Natural Keyword Phrases – The typical keyword for a text-based search is a product and the local area if the consumer wants to find the product near them. Voice searches, however, are different. The consumer is likely asking a question, such as where to purchase a certain product. Use these keyword phrases alongside keywords designed for text-based searches to help consumers find your products when voice shopping becomes more prominent.
  • Optimizes a Website for Google Searches – Although Google is only allowing a few major retailers to sell products through their Google Home voice assistant, this is predicted to change in the future. Most experts agree it’s likely Google will use the same algorithm for this as they do text-based searches, so ensure your business is optimized for local searches.

Though voice shopping is just getting started, the technology is there for this to become more mainstream. Increasing numbers of consumers are starting to use voice shopping for at least some of their purchases, and this is expected to continue over the next few years. Starting to prepare today could help your company get ahead of the trend and be ready.

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