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Voice Technology: The New Force to Reckon With

With the Internet of Things in Retail gaining more traction by the passing day, the boundaries of technological innovation appear to be limitless. The primary focus of retailers is to simplify and enhance the shopping experience of customers. For ensuring this, they must look to make themselves available to the customers on every possible platform of technology. Amidst a lot of contradictions, many experts still believe that Voice Technology might be the next big technological breakthrough in Retail.

People already have a slight idea of voice technology in the form of Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. Although they were not the worst personal intelligent assistants, they were certainly far from being the real deal. But voice technology has evolved and advanced ever since. Last year, Amazon had rolled out the Amazon Echo device equipped with the virtual intelligent assistant ‘Alexa’. Customers can ask Alexa to add items to their shopping list. Google too recently launched its assistant equipped device by the name of ‘Google Home’.

voice technology

Let’s look at how apart from convenience, fun, and interactivity, voice technology can also help in establishing brand loyalty.

Voice Technology Gaining Traction

Voice Technology is still quite a new concept but is quickly gaining traction. The internet of things in retail has ensured that customers look to adopt all the various kinds of technologies on offer. Voice Technology is still not yet at its’ most powerful stage. But, it’s growing for sure. The following statistics reveal how voice technology is slowly gaining traction.

  • From statistical zilch, voice searches across the globe rose to more than 10% in 2015 (Accenture Research)
  • In 2016, 20% of mobile searches by Android users in the USA were made by voice (Google)
  • According to a research, 87% of respondents feel that voice technology simplifies their life when it works properly. (Mindshare & JWT)

The research conducted by Mindshare and JWT also revealed the several reasons why people use intelligent assistants. 55% use it because it’s convenient while 52% use it because it’s simple to use. The following illustration shows the list of all the reasons.

intelligent assistants data

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The Little Drawbacks and the huge opportunity that lies ahead

Findings reveal that most of the users of voice technology will be of the age group of 18-34. Brands and Retailers should take a note of this. Brands especially should also know that customers tend to develop a strong and unified emotional connection with them when using voice technology. As a result, chances of establishing brand loyalty becomes high. Brands should look to provide a frictionless experience to the customers by adding value to their voice-integrated offerings. This will help them maintain this advantage.

Although we see that brand loyalty can be easily established through voice technology, many experts still hold up a few drawbacks. They feel that developing long term customer loyalty and trust to this technology is a little difficult. This is because with voice devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, customers can’t see the products that they are ordering. In this state of uncertainty, they are bound to lose interest in this technology at some point and adopt more traditional means. What’s missing is a touch screen for display where in customers can see the products that they are ordering by voice.

However, there are experts who also believe that this technology will only grow from strength to strength in the time to come. They feel that with time, voice devices with integrated touch screens will come out that will solve the problem of the customer’s uncertainty. The next Amazon Echo device is expected to come out with such a touchscreen. These experts also feel that this touchscreen will mostly be required by customers while they make fancy and premium end purchases. For common and routine purchases like toothpastes, etc. customers won’t exactly bother about the display. Therefore, this technology is expected to be exceptionally handy for a sector like grocery among others.

Experts also believe that soon, voice devices will also be able to register ordered items on the list and prompt customers when they enter a Brick-and-Mortar store. So, it might just turn out to be a force to reckon with in offline retail as well.

With Internet of things in retail powering widespread transformation, customers are now more tech savvy than ever. This will certainly work in the favor of voice technology. By 2020, 50% of all searches is forecasted to be conducted through voice. (ComScore)

About Abhishek Mitra

Content is King and Abhishek Mitra firmly lives by it. He is highly committed & passionate in what he does and it's evident through the content that he produces. An MBA Graduate in Media & Entertainment from Whistling Woods International (Mumbai), Abhishek has acquired expertise on developing content pertaining to various verticals overtime due to the sheer knack for it. Apart from being an inspirational scriptwriter in his teenage days, he has worked as an academic research writer in the past. Presently, he handles the content for Tickto.

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