Voice recognition and subscriptions are the hottest trends in 2018

Smart voice-controlled speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home are becoming more and more famous. Experts suggest that this year they will fuel the e-commerce industry with their popularity.


Commerce space will be driven by voice recognition

According to Michael Levine, the marketing vice president at Photon, we will soon experience “a whole new frontier of commerce space driven through voice and brand recognition”. In a report to the E-Commerce Times, he further adds that “It’s going to be a different type of playing field for these brands. Where it used to be more visual, it’s now going to be driven by voice”.

Connecting consumers with brands

Speech recognition and the importance of smart speakers are already being felt and implemented in various spheres of development, especially in America. As from now, even retailers will adapt to this new technological revolution and find ways to engage their consumers through it. Bob Glazer, the managing director at Acceleration Partners claim that smart speakers will now be used to “create enhanced connections with consumers and augment their voice assistant offerings to deliver tailored, data-driven buying experiences”. The experience will become more enhanced “as voice-enabled search becomes more accurate and user-friendly”.

People will buy more through voice-controlled devices

The impact of smart speakers will also be felt by advertisers soon. A senior digital media specialist at Chacka Marketing, Andrew Mimault points out that Walker Sands recently conducted a study that depicts how next year, one in three consumers will choose to make purchases through a voice-controlled device. “This should serve as a wake-up call to increase emphasis on how advertisers — both big and small — integrate voice into their search program and how to use it creatively,” Mimault said to the E-Commerce Times.

Mimault further added that “Voice and pay-per-click will merge in the same way we’ve seen programmatic buy placements with television”. This technological revolution will not stop until online merchants would witness smart speakers becoming “smarter”, thus making a huge impact on sales and customer engagement. In the same light, the CEO of Vennli, Patti Doyle emphasized that now “we will see intelligence that will better understand our preferences”. These “voice assistants [will] drive customer engagement from before the sale all the way through to customer experience,” she mentioned to the E-Commerce Times.

Look for voice interfaces with new agnostic voice UI

In addition, retailers will no more be limited to only the leading smart speakers. Mike Comstock, the senior adviser at GrandCanals advises the public to be on the lookout for “new, merchant-agnostic voice interfaces” as the prospects are very wide. “You can speak to TVs now — and perhaps Xfinity from Comcast, which already has voice navigation, will enter the retail interface arena,” he adds.

Discovering the limitations of voice recognition devices

Advertisers and retailers will also discover the limitations and benefits of voice-driven sales and engagement at the same time when they experiment with it. For Judge Graham, the CMO of Ansira, “Retail is a highly visual space. Consumers may use home assistants to place their usual and routine Amazon orders or fulfill their Amazon Fresh grocery lists, but for larger and more unique retail purchases, mobile and desktop shopping will remain essential”.

In fact, this is only the beginning as there is still a long way to go before customers actually get access to the ideal voice shopping interface experience in the market. Jack O’Leary, an analyst with PlanetRetail RNG truly believes that “the tech will get there, and retailers and brands should be prepared”.

Product subscription is the current trend

Product subscriptions are currently one of the hottest trends of 2018. Matt Britton, the CEO of Crowdtap is of opinion that “Anything that saves consumers time will grow, so anything that requires continuous, frequent purchases will shift toward the subscription model”. Having connected voice recognition devices in homes and the increasing competition will boost the use of the subscription model. The chief revenue officer at 2Checkout, Erich Litch said that “Traditional retailers realize more and more that they are now in direct competition with a new breed of companies focused on subscription offerings”.

At the same time, online retailers can also go beyond auto replacement and procurement. Britton predicts that “Amazon is going to start sending you things before you order them, based on the history of what you bought. As they integrate their purchase of Whole Foods, I think that’s more likely to happen”.

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