New technologies are transforming the way consumers shop and the way online retailers do business so quickly that it can be hard to keep up with changing trends.
Voice commerce is the latest frontier in ecommerce payment methods, offering voice assistant users a quick, convenient and simple way to make purchases simply by asking their smart devices.
The novelty of this technology means many businesses, and consumers, have questions around how it works and how it can benefit their shopping experience. Nevertheless, the use of voice payments is growing all the time, and retailers who embrace it quickly are sure to reap the rewards it has to offer.
In this article, we’ll explain exactly how voice commerce works, why online merchants should use it, and how the future of voice recognition payments is shaping up according to the latest data.
Voice-based commerce, also known as v-commerce, is a type of contextual commerce (the process of seamlessly integrating purchase opportunities into consumers’ everyday activities) that allows consumers to use voice assistants, like Alexa, Siri, and Cortana, to buy goods and services.
When a consumer makes a purchase query, their voice assistant uses natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI) to interpret their command and take them to the most relevant product page. For security reasons, you first need to load and authenticate your stored card before doing the first voice payment.
For example, if someone says, “I want to buy some shoes”, their voice assistant will review their preferences and purchase history, discover that they have previously browsed or bought trainers from a particular website, and take them to that site. The user can then review the list of options available and command their voice assistant to “buy it now”.
Voice payments have a number of benefits over conventional online shopping routes, including:
However, the relative newness of voice commerce means businesses who adopt the technology could face some challenges, including:
Voice commerce clearly has a great deal of potential, but also a few challenges that need to be overcome before its widespread adoption among consumers and financial institutions. That said, Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays and Santander were among the earliest banks to start offering voice recognition payments through Siri, and many others have already, or are set to, follow.
The statistics around use of voice commerce are very encouraging. According to Statista, by 2023, the value of voice-assistant ecommerce transactions is expected to hit nearly $20bn in the US and $19.4bn worldwide - an astonishing increase on the $4.6bn achieved just two years earlier in 2021. If growth continues on this trajectory, voice commerce will surely be a force to be reckoned with in online shopping.
Other Statista research found that by mid-2022, 27% of US consumers were already making online payments using voice assistants. And data on the share of consumers using voice-activated searches in certain countries found that, of US consumers, 54% used it for retail, 52% for food delivery and restaurants, 49% for consumer packaged goods, and 45% for fashion.
If you want to remain competitive in the ever-changing ecommerce space, you need to ensure you’re staying up to date with the latest consumer shopping preferences.
With Checkout.com, you can access the world’s most popular payment methods, including global card schemes and the local payment methods preferred by consumers in the regions in which you operate. We can also support you with contextual commerce, ensuring you can meet all your customers’ shopping preferences, boosting loyalty and sales.