Conversational commerce is on the rise where businesses involve voice search as one of their online features, e.g., Google’s “Okay Google” and Amazon’s “Alexa.” As people are forced to take their businesses online, conversational commerce makes it easier for less experienced users of grocery eCommerce to place orders. However, incorporating this feature is no easy task.
Here’s an insight.
Omni-channel marketing refers to retailers selling their products on multiple platforms. Walmart, for example, has its phone app as well as the physical store. This creates multiple methods of accessing the same products.
While click-and-collect marketing is currently very popular, an IDC Retail Insights survey revealed that a third of consumers do not buy their groceries online. In such instances, introducing voice search may help the producers incentivize their customers.
The Rise of Voice Search-based Sales
eMarketer’s March 2019 study predicted that digital grocery revenues would grow by nearly 20% every year until 2024. Meanwhile, FMI experts say that online grocery shopping alone will amass over $100 billion in the US by 2022.
However, these statistics are click-and-collect related. Voice-based shopping studies still show a general apprehension among consumers. Another eMarketer study showed that most of these consumers use the voice option for research rather than sales. Gartner confirms these findings, predicting that 30% of all browsing sessions will include a voice search by 2020.
Companies like Walmart and Ocado are indulging in innovative methods to incorporate voice-based services on their platforms. Walmart has partnered with Google Assistant to help customers directly add items in their carts by giving their smart device an instruction.
Meanwhile, Ocado has worked with Amazon’s smart speaker, Alexa, to use a unique list and task management methods. Therefore, Alexa has an Ocado skill that can maintain shopping lists and let customers know what is in fashion.
The Future of Conversational Grocery eCommerce
The biggest hurdle to a voice-based future is consumer muscle memory. Consumption habits such as impulse buying, which totals about $5,400 per US consumer every year, do not translate well when customers need to speak to their smart device.
That said, as AI technology continuously gets refined and more customers use chatbots now than ever before, voice-based marketing can become a mainstay in eCommerce. Chatbots currently offer up to 4 times more sales conversions than customer support. As bots grow more advanced and mimic human speech patterns, it is natural to assume that these numbers will increase. Already, Alexa and Siri are breaking barriers by providing full-fledged conversations.
The role of conversational commerce and grocery eCommerce is set to grow exponentially. Companies like Amazon are said to be investing $750 trillion to develop voice recognition software. Voice search could be especially helpful to repeat orders and quantities in various software since it does not require an actual sit-down with the device. It will also find you viable alternatives if your favorite is out of stock.
Additionally, it will keep track of your current inventory, noting how much you need on a monthly or weekly basis, depending on your shopping habits. With such intelligence, voice-based eCommerce will make consumers’ lives easier and provide solutions for their everyday needs. However, its full scope and potential are yet to be recognized and implemented in the online grocery shopping ethos.
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