Voice Assisted Shopping: The Future is Starting Now

Voice Assisted Shopping has arrived, with some big e-tailers already jumping in. Here’s what you need to know now about its potential, and how to prepare.

Most voice assisted shopping happens through smart speakers, which are the fastest growing consumer technology since the smartphone, and they’re revolutionizing the way we interact with technology. 

There are today just four companies who’ve jumped into the Voice Assistant market, with Google leading the way. Right now only Google and Amazon enable shopping for retail goods (as opposed to in-app purchases). You can access the various Apple stores through Siri, but not other stores.

Adoption rates for voice assisted shopping are still small, but the potential is large.

We’ve previously reported on all the ways you can now shop by voice. Adoption is growing: 42% of people who use voice assistants on a regular basis have used them for online shopping. Among the general population, that number is 17%.

Millennials are the earliest adopters.

In its Millennial Shopping Report 2019, CouponFollow noted that 45% of millennials are using voice assistants to shop. More than half of those shop mostly through Amazon.

Engaging the elderly

Older adults have trouble reading small screens, but they love to talk. Conversing with a voice assistant will have strong appeal as the elderly learn how much easier it can make their lives for even routine things like grocery shopping.

Conversations are the starting point, rather than plain search.

Before a voice shopper gets to the transaction, they need some assists. Conversing with the voice assistant can help answer their questions, compose a shopping list, and offer suggestions for related products.

Reasons why voice assisted shopping has huge potential

It’s speedier. Talking is faster than typing. You can reel off the name and a detailed list of adjectives describing the product you want in less than half the time.

It’s friction-free. The voice shopping experience has fewer barriers. You don’t have to whip out your phone, unlock the screen, find the app and wait for it to load. On your phone or your smart speaker, just activate the voice assistant with a 2-word command.

It’s about to get even better. The advent of smart speakers is helping voice shopping to come into its own. And now they’ve added smart screens to the experience through the Echo Show and Google Home Hub. Users can watch a screen while controlling actions with their voice, which helps them browse and select products visually.

The bottom line is, be prepared.

As the AI for voice assisted shopping continues to develop and improve, having your products visible to both search crawlers and AI reference data points means using the best available technology. A connected Product Information Management system (PIM) is a must; your Excel sheet can’t be accessed by these bots. And accurately syndicating your PIM data across multiple channels is another must.

Shoppingfeed syndicates product listings on all of the world’s most powerful marketplaces, syncs and refines inventory data with >11M product tags, and automates order fulfillment.