Modern Retail

Future of Voice Shopping: What Retailers Need to Know

The retail industry has changed over the past decade, thanks to the popularity of the Internet, emerging technologies and the way consumers shop. According to Statista, global retail eCommerce sales are expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021.

Every year brings new trends that revolutionize eCommerce and challenge retail marketers. With the rise of digital assistants comes the rise of voice search, one of the retail industry future trends. Users everywhere are now opting to speak queries instead of typing them out, and according to Search Engine Watch, 35x more voice searches than when the technology was originally launched in 2008.

Voice shopping statistics say, that voice commerce sales are predicted to reach $40 billion by 2022 with 50% of all searches being voice searches by 2020. While this breakthrough in technology is exciting for users, it’s turned into a critical turning point for brands and retailers that consider themselves digitally savvy. Why? Because now the question becomes what is the future of voice shopping and what does it mean for retailers? Let’s discuss it in this article, read along!

Voice Search Revolutionizes Ecommerce

Voice search allows users to verbally ask a question on a smart device or a computer rather than typing the question into a search tool. A query then is answered by a search engine or a digital assistant. It is the next frontier of eCommerce businesses and now marketers are planning for voice search 2019 strategy.

The top voice search devices that you must know about are:

  • Google Home
  • Amazon Echo/Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Siri
  • Microsoft Cortana

This technology has completely revolutionized the retail industry and now it is even possible to order a pizza using Domino’s app! You can simply say your pizza preference and the company will deliver it to your doorstep. No typing!

Other brands like Whirlpool and Ocado have partnered with major digital assistants like Alexa to hop on the voice search wagon. For example, Whirlpool appliances can receive voice commands through Alexa, so you can do your laundry by just saying so! British online supermarket Ocado, now allows you to add groceries onto your shopping list while you cook, all thanks to your voice.

How to optimise for voice search?

While your overall SEO strategy might aim for a wider reach, your voice search marketing strategy should be optimised for your local community. In fact, mobile voice-related searches are 3x more likely to be locally-based compared to text.

In order to success in your eCommerce marketing strategy 2019, you want to make sure your business is optimised to appear on local voice search. You can do this by naming the location of your business in several key spots throughout your digital presence. It is important to do so on social media and Google My Business which will appear on Google Search and Google Maps. Having your geographical location listed in multiple places will definitely help with SEO for your business.

While optimising for voice search you need to analyse how your consumers search when they talk and prepare the accurate keywords for your content. In fact, voice search queries tend to be three-to-five keywords in length. Most of the voice queries use natural language and come in a form of a problem, which means you should consider providing content in the form of questions and answers. A lot of users look for information by asking questions and looking to find a quick answer, so you should carefully look for a short but complete response to a query using long tail keywords.

Since voice search is slowly taking over mobile searches in general, you should definitely consider investing your time in optimising your website for mobile. Make sure your design is responsive, site loads fast enough, and content is clear, written accordingly with the voice search requirements.

Consider how your customers will benefit from voice technology and how you want to integrate the feature in your business. The need for voice optimisation is rising and in order to be easily discoverable you need to implement this to an eCommerce marketing strategy for your brand. Voice shopping popularity is still growing, 58% of regular users nowadays, manage shopping lists on a weekly basis and 52% of voice-activated speaker owners are open to the information about promotions and deals.

Let’s wrap it up

Voice search is definitely transforming eCommerce and opening many doors for online retailers. You need to follow the future trends and prepare your platform for voice technology which is taking over the world of eCommerce. In order to rank well in the crowded market, remember these few practises that will help you optimise for voice search and benefit your business:

  1. List your location on your social media profiles and across your general digital presence to optimise your location for local search.
  2. Target long tail keywords to make your brand more discoverable.
  3. Write content in the form of questions and answers, using natural language.
  4. Reply using short and comprehensive sentences.
  5. Make sure your site is as mobile friendly as it possibly can be.  

Good luck!

Contributor: Karolina is a content writer for Appnova, a creative digital agency based in London that specialises in luxury brands. She loves to write content based on current ecommerce, social media and marketing trends and provide insight into customer care, fashion and the beauty sector.