“Alexa, order paper towels” is phrase that is becoming ever more popular in today’s multi-commerce environment. The explosion of the virtual assistant market over the past few years is staggering, and is allowing for consumers to order products with less friction than ever - just their voice.
For the moment, the voice-controlled landscape is relatively small in terms of the number of brands actively engaging in advertising and search tactics. However, the influence their messaging has and its ability to convert to sales is massive. With Amazon, Google, Apple and more working on voice technology, companies must get ready for the next wave of commerce, “Conversational Commerce”.
Conversational Commerce is the frictionless process of utilizing your voice to control the shopping experience through a voice-controlled device, and it's beginning to revolutionizing the way we shop as consumers. Retailers, businesses, and marketers will be challenged to re-think the digital landscape.
For years we have been using our phones to make our everyday life tasks easier, be it ordering a product online, buying tickets to events, or making a dinner reservation. As Conversational Digital Engagement improves, there will be a time in the near future where we will reminisce on having to "open google, type, scroll, and decide" what we were looking for. Instead we will "ask" and receive what we are looking for instantaneously via a conversation with our devices.
In a recent article written by Eugene Kim with Business Insiders, there are estimates that Amazon’s voice-controlled devices Echo and Alexa could lead to an $11 billion revenue stream by 2020. It is estimated that $4 billion of that would come from device sales and $7 billion would come from all the commerce transactions derived from Amazon.com.
Right Product, Right Now
What does this mean for your business? Another iteration of engagement is just around the corner! As you think about your brand and the consumers that you engage with, you must determine what the importance of these technologically enhanced devices play in your consumers’ lives. Are you ready to provide them with the right product in the exact moment they need it?
To be prepared for this, you must consider all facets of your business, from the way in which you market to consumers, to how your digital assets (website, social media) are optimized for conversational commerce and the speed at which you can deliver your product through fulfillment and distribution.