March 1, 2018
Voice is uncharted territory for most marketers, as it’s still a nascent space. Right now, there’s significant opportunity for brands to get on board with voice shopping and forge the way as more consumers purchase smart speakers and get accustomed to interacting with digital assistants.
Amazon is leading the pack in the space with the greatest market share, and it appears set to build on its first-mover advantage in selling smart speakers with its line of Echo devices that range in price from $50 to $230. The company is able to sell the products at a loss if it means getting people hooked on its e-commerce platform or registering them for a membership to its Prime service. Amazon’s acquisition this week of smart doorbell maker Ring could further boost Alexa’s shopping strategy by giving consumers a way to authorize access to their homes for deliveries.
Brands that are selected as an “Amazon Choice” on its e-commerce platform have a key advantage when it comes to voice shopping, according to OC&C. Products that have “Choice” status see boosted sales of a product by 3x, as Amazon continues its hold on swaying customers’ buying decisions. Eighty-five percent of consumers select the products that Amazon suggests, labeled as “Choice” items.
Meanwhile, consumer goods marketers need to maintain Amazon’s “Choice” status, even though those products change frequently (4%-5% daily) because of stock or delivery speed issues. Ensuring that products are easy to find is critical for consumer purchasing, as 69% of customers know the exact product they wish to buy before beginning a search. Tailoring search terms to ensure distinctiveness, such as “sensitive toothpaste,” increases the chances that consumers will find a product and then purchase, OC&C said.
Apple has a lot of work to do if it wants to gain more market share in the smart-speaker market. The company delayed shipments of its HomePod, missing the key holiday buying season that Amazon and Google dominated with a variety of promotions and discounts. OC&C suggested that the Siri digital assistant needs a major upgrade in its artificial intelligence capabilities to keep apace with leaders Amazon and Google.
At this point, the rise of voice-enabled devices appears undeniable, and the growth of voice as a shopping interface has demanded the attention of many consumer brands and retailers, as it’s set to change how many consumers buy products. This comes especially as the supporting infrastructure of home delivery services continues to grow,