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Problems Facing Voice Commerce

The emergence of Amazon Echo and Google Home have shown the world its first glimpse of the future of marketing: voice commerce. With users now able to interact with their devices simply by talking to them directly, could we be witnessing the beginning of a revolution in online marketing that sees voice control become the way we all shop in the future?

Voice recognition already accounts for around $2 billion worth of sales across UK and the US, and forecasts for the future put that amount at more than $40 billion in three-years’ time.

For voice recognition to take the place of other ecommerce platforms already in use, developers are still going to have to overcome a number of problems that plague voice commerce today.

What are the main challenges facing voice commerce?

1.     Search

To search for products using your voice alone can sometimes end up being more convoluted and time consuming than simply texting it into a search bar, mainly due to the fact that people simply don’t know what to ask for. Right now, the vast majority of people use text to search for products and services online and have developed a habit for searching that voice recognition will have to adapt if it wants to succeed.

A part of the problem is that voice recognition software isn’t great at picking up on what people are saying if they speak naturally. Instead, users have to adapt their voice to help the device better discern what they are looking for. The future of voice commerce will require much more advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms which can translate natural language phrasing into contextual searches.

2.     Discovery

Ecommerce sites are constantly experimenting with ways of recommending products to their users. This can come in the form of banners, pop ups, even emails. Yet very little product discovery is done through speakers. And how can it be done?

The future will once again turn to AI in an attempt to make voice commerce capable of recommending appropriate products to users. When a system is connected to personal information; age, location, sex etc, as well as being synched up to the family calendar, voice shopping systems could send recommendations on all sorts of products and services.

If you had a holiday booked, for example, your device could send you possible purchases, such as sun creams and clothing options directly to your mobile device or TV, which you could then order through voice recognition reply if you thought you needed it.

3.     Privacy

In order for a voice device to work at its best it requires access to personal information of each user. With people growing more and more aware of how their information is used online, it is going to be difficult for these devices to process appropriate information without storing it. Users know that they give up a small amount of private information to better enable their social networks to improve their online experience but how far will we have to take it for our voice commerce systems to be able to operate fully whilst keeping our information safe?

The possibilities for voice commerce is an exciting prospect and we are excited to see what will become of it in the future. For more information and for ecommerce development in Manchester, visit Visionsharp today. 



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