Voice commerce, also known as V-commerce, is a type of ecommerce that allows customers to make purchases using voice commands. This could be through a voice assistant such as Amazon's Alexa, Google Home, or a chatbot.
Voice commerce is still in its early stages of development, but many companies are already investing in it.
Now that we know what voice commerce is, let's look at how it works.
Voice commerce relies on voice assistants to function. Voice assistants are software programs that understand and respond to voice commands. They use natural language processing (NLP) to interpret the user's words and carry out the appropriate actions.
Regarding voice commerce, NLP interprets the customer's purchase intent. For example, if a customer says, "I want to buy a new dress," the voice assistant will be able to understand that they want to purchase a dress and will take them to the relevant product page.
Of course, voice assistants don't just rely on NLP to understand customer queries. They also use artificial intelligence (AI) to learn more about the customer's preferences and purchase history. This means that they can provide more personalized recommendations.
For example, if a customer has previously bought a dress from a particular brand, the voice assistant might suggest similar items from that same brand. Or, if the customer has purchased a dress in a specific style, the voice assistant might suggest other dresses in that style.
In short, voice assistants use NLP and AI to understand customer queries and provide relevant recommendations. This makes it easier for customers to find what they're looking for and make purchases using voice commands.
Several benefits come with voice commerce. For example, it's convenient for customers as they can make purchases without using their hands. This is especially useful for people who are busy or have disabilities that make it difficult to use a traditional keyboard and mouse.
Voice commerce also has the potential to be more secure than other types of ecommerce. This is because customers can choose to set up a voice print, a unique way of speaking that can be used to identify them. This means that only the person with the correct voice print can make purchases using the account, making it more difficult for fraudsters to access.
Another benefit of voice commerce is that it can provide businesses with valuable data that can be used to improve the customer experience. For example, companies can use voice analytics to see what customers are saying about their products and services and they can also use it to track customer trends.
According to Yang Zhang, CEO of Plasmic, "Voice represents the richest source of data we have on how customers interact with our brands. Voice analytics can provide insights at every customer journey stage, from awareness to consideration to purchase."
Of course, some challenges come with voice commerce. One of the biggest challenges is that it's still a relatively new technology, so there are not as many people using it yet. Businesses that invest in voice commerce may struggle to reach their target audience.
Another challenge is that customers may not be comfortable using voice commands to purchase. This is because some people may feel like they are too intrusive or may not want to be overheard by others.
Finally, voice commerce can also be challenging for businesses because it requires them to understand voice search optimization well. This is because customers are more likely to use natural language when speaking rather than the keywords they would use when they are typing.
According to Robert, CEO & Co-Founder of Expert Computer Solutions / ECS, "Voice search optimization is still in its early stages and many businesses are struggling to keep up with the changes. People search using voice differently from how they search using a traditional keyboard and mouse."
Overall, voice commerce is a promising new technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way that we make purchases.
While some challenges come with it, such as the need for businesses to invest in voice search optimization, the benefits of voice commerce, such as the convenience it offers customers and the valuable data it provides businesses, outweigh the challenges.