According to Ad Age, 75% of all content consumption will happen via mobile by the end of 2017, which is only four months away. This is big. While we can all attest that desktop traffic is still a key part of how users experience our brands, mobile continues to increase its foothold. For e-commerce in particular, mobile is becoming an increasingly important enabler for us in our busy, consumption-centric lives. Like it or not, most of us do our shopping online – 79% in fact. So, having a “mobile” way of discovering, comparing, and purchasing products online is crucial to our on-demand lifestyle.
Enter voice. Voice technology took the world by storm earlier this year with Amazon releasing impressive holiday sales numbers for the Echo and Google entering the game with Home. The new GUI-less, or screen-less, way of interacting with technology has generated a great deal of interest from consumers who enjoy the low-friction nature of voice AI experiences. But let’s not forget that the first commercial applications of speech technology were on the phone. Which shouldn’t be surprising because, after all, phones were made for talking. Thanks to recent, continued advances in technology, today it is possible to reach users where they already are, on your website or mobile apps, with a great voice AI experience.
The challenges of mobile conversion
While mobile devices account for over 60% of ecommerce traffic, according to Dynamic Yield, they drive less than 20% of transactions. It’s a surprising statistic really because product discovery is traditionally a much bigger challenge on mobile than clicking “buy”. The problem lies in the middle. While most commerce journeys start with mobile, users quickly get frustrated by their inability to sort and filter through the myriad of available products on a mobile device. So, they pause what they’re doing, after maybe saving a few items, and pick up where they left off from their computers. Particularly for more expensive, considered purchases this behavior of buying from a computer is even more pronounced.
To that end, as retailers continue to shift more and more of their resources to mobile, it’s critical to identify technologies that will help drive mobile purchases.
According to a recent survey, speed and easier navigation are the top drivers of mobile adoption amongst younger, mobile-savvy consumers — US internet users ages 18 to 34. But many retailers still struggle to develop a mobile experience that is optimized for speed and efficiency – that makes it easier to find the products you’re looking for.
Driving mobile conversion with voice
Voice allows retailers to support natural language interactions that recreate the dialogue a customer can have in store with a sales associate. In the end, voice allows users to be more descriptive and gets them to the right product results faster. On average, voice search has proven to be three times faster than typing, with error rates over 20% lower than the text-based alternative.
Voice goes beyond providing a means of hands-free interaction, to include a new level of freedom and efficiency when interacting with technology. Specific benefits for ecommerce include:
- Users can use natural language and be more descriptive with voice
- Voice search gets you to your desired results 3X than searching with text
- Searching with voice combines the functions of search and filtering into a single command
- Voice overcomes the limitations of limited mobile screen real estate by providing an unconstrained mode of interaction
- Voice allows users to add multiple products to a list and cart with a single command, dramatically reducing time to cart and checkout
In a world where the consumer will naturally engage with their favorite retailers and brands doing what comes naturally to them, voice is the optimal interface for the future of mobile commerce.
Interested in learning more about the role of a voice designer? We wrote a blog post on it here.
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