It used to be considered unusual to have full-on conversations with inanimate objects. But as we’ve welcomed Siri, Alexa, and the rest of their friends into our lives, it’s become increasingly the norm.
And as technology has evolved, these devices have become able to do more than just recite bad dad jokes or relay the five-day forecast. They’ve become a way to shop.
Consumers have been making voice purchases through Google Assistant since 2018, using fingerprints or facial recognition on their phones to verify them. Yet while Google still captures just a small amount of the voice purchase market, that could be about to change.
Here are four ways Google’s pilot Voice Match program may alter the way consumers are placing online orders and how you can make sure you’re found in your customers’ searches.
How Voice Match Is Changing Online Ordering
In a bid to make e-commerce shopping even easier, Google has been piloting its Voice Match program, which provides voice confirmation for purchases made via Google Assistant-enabled speakers and displays. This program is projected to best Alexa when it comes to identifying and understanding different languages (and even dialects), which may give it a significant edge in diverse regions, domestically and worldwide.
Here are four other ways Voice Match is impacting the e-commerce experience.
1. Increases Convenience
Customers want what they want, when they want it. But sometimes customers aren’t near their phones or can’t remember their passwords, making it hard (if not impossible) to confirm a transaction without jumping through extra hoops.
But Voice Match lets consumers complete purchases on their smart speakers or displays entirely by voice — eliminating the need to also confirm the transaction on a mobile device. And because orders are easier to place, merchants may find that the reduced friction of Voice Match orders translates into bigger order and higher transaction volumes — and eventually, more profits.
2. Decreases Physical Touch Points
Amid a global pandemic, consumers still needed to shop but were increasingly interested in contactless and touchless commerce options. With the first half of 2020 seeing a dramatic rise in e-commerce shopping, we can expect the future to spotlight voice purchases as a key post-pandemic e-commerce strategy.
3. Prevents Accidental Purchases
Early versions of voice ordering programs were perhaps a little too eager to interpret innocent conversations with smart devices as commands to place an order. But by having only specific voices authorized to make purchases via Voice Match, customers can be confident they have an added layer of protection against accidental orders.
4. Improves Security
Those new to voice purchases may be glad to know that voice-initiated purchases on Google Assistant will be subject to limits, such as a (currently undefined) maximum number of transactions per day and a maximum limit per transaction.
And while some users may be concerned that voice authorization isn’t the most secure biometric, some experts assure skeptics that advanced voice recognition technology won’t be fooled by professional voice imitators, synthetic speech or a recorded voice. By teaching their Google Assistant to recognize their voices, customers gain the peace of mind that comes from knowing any purchases made using Assistant were legitimate.
[CTA – Relevant Read: How DTC E-Commerce Brands Should Approach Marketing During the Coronavirus]
How to Prepare for This Trend
Thanks to consumers’ increased demand for voice interaction when searching for and ordering products, you’ll want to make sure you’ve prepared for your products and services to appear in a search. Here’s how you can ensure customers will find you in their next Voice Match purchase.
1. Incorporate Long-Tail Keywords
To be found on voice search, think about how your customers are most likely to talk to their smart device, and then optimize your product pages for those highly specific, targeted long-tail keywords. These long-tail keywords are different than the short-tail keywords e-commerce merchants traditionally use to rank high in search engines. So instead of using “basketball shoes,” you’ll want to consider something like “kid’s Air Jordan basketball shoes size 10” to be found by customers using Voice Match.
2. Understand How Search Types Differ
Spoken search queries are much different than typed ones. Rather than typing “blue planter,” a customer might ask their Google device “Where can I buy a blue planter?” To help ensure you’re found by customers using voice search, make your website content more conversational and consider adding a robust Q&A page or a pillar page with detailed questions and easy-to-understand answers.
3. Improve Local Voice Search Results
Google displays voice results based on relevance, distance and prominence, so if you have an e-commerce site and a physical location, add local SEO to your website. By adding phrases like “near me” and “nearby” in your title tags, meta descriptions and internal links, you can appear in the results of customers conducting voice searches.
Keeping pace with technological advances isn’t easy — and keeping your business safe while integrating these new technologies can be even harder. Download our free white paper, “The e-Commerce Technology Trends That Will Shape 2019,” to learn about the emerging trends that help online merchants meet their customers’ needs for. In it, we share the latest tech trends you should consider integrating into your e-commerce business while offering the suggestion on how to keep you and your customers protected against any increased risk of fraud.