Before understanding what voice commerce is and how important it will be to the way you sell and consume, let's see how quickly the way of doing business has revolutionized. Admittedly, e-commerce evolves at a high speed and this can scare those who lack vision, preparation and time.
E-Commerce: One Revolution Does not Wait for the Other
Towards the end of the 90s there were huge changes in the way of doing business, in the way of shopping and consuming, all because of e-commerce. It has revolutionized the way we consume so much that some large companies that thought they were in full control have collapsed. In fact, not only did these companies not have control, they no longer had “territory”. Their customers could buy their products or similar products for less all over the world.
Companies that have been able to adapt have survived and have been able to continue to thrive. Some have taken their turn too late and are on life support. What's healthy is that for every business that has failed, there are new ones that have taken their place. Zappos, one of my favorite companies was one of those. They simply took a big place in selling shoes online when the big guys figured no one would buy shoes on the web. It is a blatant lack of vision and above all it is wrong to think that consumers are not changing. Zappos has since been purchased by Amazon.
Then there was M-commerce, which allowed customers to buy directly with their phone. Although Canada was lagging behind in M-commerce, we can see that many consumers now have their “wallet” in their phone with various applications. In addition, merchants have adapted their site for phones to make life easier for their consumers. The saddest thing is that some brick and mortar stores are acting as stooges for web retailers. Many consumers will try the products in store and with just a few clicks are able to shop online often for less. This is the concept of showrooming.
It is essential to have a plan to deal with the fierce competition on the web. The customer adapts to what is good for them, not what is good for the traders.
As you have just seen, in the last 20 years, the world of commerce has undergone two great waves of disruptive innovation: E-commerce and M-commerce.
Did you know that the 3rd wave has already started?
It is called V-commerce or "Voice commerce" which means to trade online with the voice.
You've probably heard of Echo from Amazon, Google Home, or other personal assistants. In fact, it's a speakerphone attached to a virtual assistant application. It can also be linked to connected products. Basically, the goal is to allow people to generate actions by voice commands, including purchases, all in order to simplify their lives!
But How will this Revolutionize Commerce?
You may have seen this ad video from Amazon before.
V-commerce is going to revolutionize commerce and this is the reason why: It makes commerce possible without moving and without manipulation, just by placing a voice command. The customer can therefore order as soon as a need arises!
Once again, technology makes life easier for the consumer. It maximizes the management of time and user movements.
What are the Opportunities for Traders?
- A new playing field to make life easier for these customers and “rise up” faster than competitors;
- A new way to engage customers. It will be easier to renew an order for a product that you have already purchased, hence the importance of being ready as soon as possible.
- A new way to personalize the shopping experience for its customers, while respecting the limits of privacy protection.
- A new way to deliver a better experience to your customers. Both in B2C and B2B.
- Develop skills to Promote Cross-Selling and Upselling.
It's important to understand that systems like Echo, Google Home, and others aren't just for commerce. They can be used for anything that requires a question. For example, one of these systems could be used in a shoe or clothing store to give our customers the ability to simply know if a specific size is available locally. This could reduce the size of the store floor by putting only one copy of a product.
If you want to develop a good strategy with V-commerce, you will need to create a script and possibly program some "skills" in Alexa so that it can provide a good experience for your customers.
In a future article, we will explain what to do to get started in this kind of V-Commerce initiative.
Projections for V-Commerce
Comscore predicts that 50% of searches will be done by voice in 2020-2021;
- You should also know that Amazon's Alexa is already available in several vehicles and will continue to be included in a host of new models;
The advent of V-commerce is only in its infancy, but you have to be prepared, because like it or not, it will happen! Basically, you have the choice between “being in the parade” or “watching the parade”.
If you want to know more, don't hesitate to contact us, it will be our pleasure to help you become better with your customers, sell more and sell better!
We are e-commerce experts always ready to help!