2019 has been the year when voice broke out of the hype and found its calling in the eCommerce space. With stats around voice ecosystem growing rapidly, it is no surprise that merchants are considering voice as a crucial part of their sales strategy. For instance, Techcrunch recently published an article highlighting that voice shopping will grow to a massive $40B by 2022 and Alexa (the smart speaker by Amazon) has reached over 100M+ users in the US alone. This is where lies a huge potential for eCommerce merchants to create their brand differentiation by leveraging voice for engagement, loyalty (repeat orders), order tracking.
In this article, we take a look at 5 ways in which Shopify store owners can leverage smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home to create a differentiation for themselves.
There are a number of ways to use Alexa and Google home for your eCommerce brand, but here are some examples that have proven to work well on smart speakers:
There is no question that repeat orders are the best way to grow your eCommerce store. Acquiring new customers requires marketing efforts, brand recall and competing with other brands but in case of a repeat order, you have complete control over your customer. Before looking at how one can focus on loyalty through voice, let’s take a step back to understand why it’s important to focus on repeat order:
An existing customer is more likely to purchase a product again compared to a new customer
They are easier to sell to
They tend to spend a higher amount on every new purchase
So how does one implement repeat orders via voice. As we all know, voice has minimal to no real estate when compared to a website or a mobile app, but it also needs to hierarchy. For example, while browsing through an online store, we tend to follow a pattern: Home page -> Category Page -> Products -> Specific product. With voice, one can jump to a specific product directly by talking. Stores can use this opportunity to offer repeat orders via Alexa and Google home. Take a look at a sample interaction below:
User: “Alexa, repeat my last order from Petngo”
Alexa: “You have Product 1, 2 and 3 from your order history, which one would you like to repeat?”
User: “I’d like to repeat product 2”
Alexa: “Please authorize Amazon pay for payments. You can say yes to authorize or No to start fresh. Your order will be confirmed and delivered to you in 3 at 5 Times Square. Thank you for using our services”
The most common question that customers have for eCommerce stores post a purchase is: “Where is my order”? Today, they need to log back into the store or to the delivery partner’s website. Given that the customer is only looking for information and not necessarily a purchase at this point, brands can leverage the opportunity to offer this via voice on Alexa or Google Home.
Here is an example:
User: “Alexa, where is my order from PetnGo?”
Alexa: “Your order is out for delivery and should reach on Monday at 5 PM”
We all know voice is a fairly new ecosystem and it is very difficult to step out of the engineering mindset and think creatively about engaging users on a new channel. Let’s talk about the time when you first launched your web store or an app: You definitely invested in marketing and taking the word out to the consumers about your brand through these channels. On any platform, customers first engage with a brand through content, offers, banners, rewards and so on. It is not very different for voice too.
Since voice as a platform does not have the luxury of real estate, voice games are a great way to engage new and existing customers. Take a look at some of the top voice apps on Amazon skill store and you’d be surprised by the numbers. Price it right for example, lets consumers guess the price of products from Amazon. Your brand could do the same and offer rewards to game winners/participants on top of the leaderboard.
Imagine a customer came to your website only to discover the product is not available or even identify that the product is way out of their budget. Would you count that as a drop in conversion? If yes, why not let customers discover products or check their availability without having to open the website.
While you can’t stop a shopper from exploring other deals and discounts, you can re-engage their interest in other products by simply letting the smart voice assistant recommend other products right in that context or even letting them set up a reminder for when the product is available next.
Do you use push notifications for your website or mobile? If the answer is yes, then push notification on voice devices comes with no surprise.
You can use voice devices to send push notifications to your customers ranging from notification for upsell, reminding them to purchase a product, reminding them of their delivery or simply letting them know about any new product/offers. Push notifications and promotions are a great way to keep shoppers engaged and remain at the top of their minds.
Voice assistants cannot fully replace chatbots or websites but voice is definitely a growing channel for doing business. However, It is safe to say that voice is one of the most effective ways to increase customer loyalty and also stay on top of their mind.
Just like every other property (website, mobile app, social media pages), one needs to continuously test and optimize marketing campaigns to let the world know about their voice apps as well. Voice today cannot enable you to find any product on the internet with the same ease as the web, but it’s just day one for both consumers and businesses. There are a lot more capabilities that will be built in the years to come, which will make voice an important part of your business strategy.
About the author
Anmol is the founder of Emitrr - a voice-commerce platform for eCommerce merchants, that allows merchants to enable voice ordering, voice marketing on Alexa and Google Home. Anmol has 5 years of experience scaling marketing efforts of two multi-million dollar Saas platforms. Apart from Saas and marketing, he loves reading technology-related content and playing basketball.