Amazon once again has pioneered the way we shop. Voice is set to make a huge impact on the way shoppers purchase goods and services.
Sales of smart speakers are rising exponentially, so voice sales will naturally increase. Reports on the subject tell us that those that are embracing this technology tend to be in the category of living in a family household and potentially more affluent. A resulting factor of this means that people will tend to pay a little more for the goods they require, opting for convenience over value.
Even though purchases are being made via smart speakers, the value of these items are lower in cost. Circa 10% of households have a smart speaker in the UK and of those, 16% use it to make a purchase on a consistent basis. The top categories are clothing at 8% with consumers likely re-ordering something they already own as a replacement or in a different colour. Electronics is next in line at 17% and entertainment follows securing 19%. The best performing area is groceries with 20% of sales as shoppers choose to re-order the products that are a consistent in their homes. (source: https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/02/voice-shopping-estimated-to-hit-40-billion-across-u-s-and-u-k-by-2022/)
You can ask Alexa for more complicated orders such as brand names using most terminologies – such as ‘’order trainers, size 10, adidas originals own brand’’ or ‘’order adidas original brand trainers size 10’’. Alexa is designed to be intuitive with all enquires put through the device and of course maximise profits.
To take full advantage of on this way of buying, Alexa voice shopping is compatible with many of Amazons devices – Echo, Echo Dot, Tap Fire TV and Tablets
This allows many more options and ways for people to buy. One of the potential pitfalls of this way of shopping is the suggestions given to cross or upsell products. All search history is relative to that person. For example, if you are purchasing birthday gifts for two different people at different ages, you may buy a set of wine glasses and then look at children’s toys. In terms of technology, this is a difficult transaction to predict as your motivations for shopping are not relatable to each other. In this instance a complementing product would not necessarily be of use.
Amazon will now need to look at how they offer these upsells and become more astute in offering suitable options through voice. An obvious way to do this would be for the smart speaker to ask the reason for shopping such as ‘’are you looking for a gift or for yourself?’’ this will mean the consumer can be lead through a triage of options and as long as this isn’t too clunky it could offer a solution for this problem.
Wild predictions have been made as to the estimated profit coming from this source but until adoption rates are more ingrained into the British house it is an unknown figure. We look forward to seeing the results!