Need an assistant to help you take notes while driving? Or an assistant to take the burden off your call centre colleagues and eliminate the repetitive boredom factor? We have one, for free! If you're interested in the details, stay tuned and we'll have the best assistant candidates by the end of this article.
Seriously, when our team compiled the top 19 e-commerce trends for 2022 earlier this year (if you haven't read it yet, click here and we'll wait for you back), we had to devote two points to voice solutions. It's safe to say that this year will be the year of e-commerce again, which makes it worth spending a little more time on the topic.
Let's get started! Find out what you need to know about voice assistants and chatbots. We'll tell you what voice bots are all about, and why you should start using them in e-commerce as soon as possible!
Hey Google, what is a voicebot?
The star of voice-using assistants (VUI) emerged around 2017 on the endless horizon of artificial intelligence surprises, and today nearly 33% of consumers use voice assistants daily instead of traditional search. Not surprisingly, it's a smart, fast and easy-to-use feature, not to mention its versatility and can be used with a variety of devices. Due to its popularity, a wide variety of smart devices now have voice assistants, and they are not only becoming more and more versatile but also more realistic. And it's no coincidence that both Apple and Amazon are taking the 'girls' voice assistant game by storm. Research commissioned by leading cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has shown that Hungarian consumers prefer their assistants to speak to them in a female voice, which mirrors global market trends.
As voice search becomes more popular, it can directly influence search results and purchase rates. In fact, the total value of purchases through voice shopping is expected to reach $40 billion (13.3 trillion forints) by 2022, with a 55% increase in the number of these users.
Hey, Google, when does my next meeting start? Hey, Alexa, what's the weather like today? Cortana, find me some red shoes. Hey, Siri, tell me a joke. The above phrases are likely leaving our lips more often, whether it's taking notes while driving, reading the news while showering, or helping in several other areas, voice assistants are available.
And to optimise e-commerce sites, the first step is to make sure that we have made the website suitable for voice search by prioritising and updating the questions that customers ask most frequently. For example:
company and business information
delivery and shipping options
cancellation and returns policy
Plus, for e-commerce stores, it is useful to have a product search bar based on voice. And if all that wasn't enough, now comes the fun part, because it's great to have a chatbot on your site, but it's time to get voicebots to help drive traffic to your site!
Chatbot vs. voicebot
Many people are familiar with the concept of chatbots, as most users have encountered them, mainly in customer service channels. A chatbot is a computer application that can automatically carry on a conversation with a user. And, in fact, a voicebot is also a chatbot, only it is voice-based instead of text-based. Whereas a chatbot requires you to type in your questions and get the answers in writing, a voicebot understands human speech and gives its answers in the form of speech. In effect, a voicebot is a voice assistant. And although chatbots debuted in 1966 and have evolved since then, Siri was the first VUI-enabled virtual assistant in 2011.
The key difference is that voice bots require an extra step, i.e. recognising human speech and converting it into written text. From there, the voicebot basically behaves the same way as chatbots, up to the response, which has to be converted back into voice.
The downside of voicebot
➖ The voicebot is usually "busted" sooner because the user quickly realises that it is not human-assisted, as the machine-synthesised speech sound is recognisable. However, this negative aspect will disappear completely in the foreseeable future, as companies are making gigantic advances in this direction.
SOLUTION: To avoid any suspicion of deception make it clear at the very beginning of the conversation that this information is coming from a machine.
The benefits of voicebot
➕ A significant advantage is that the user's spelling doesn't matter because you can't misspell in the spoken language. A recurring problem is many customers communicate with poor spelling or simply misspell words or do not use accented letters while using chatbots. For these cases, chatbots should always be specially prepared with careful training. With voicebots, this step can be spared.
➕ Extremely cost-effective. An excellent alternative for call centres. And it's not that the machines take away people's work, but rather that the voicebot filters the customers. Indeed, it can answer 80-90% of the most common customer service questions, and for the rest, it still hands the user over to a live workforce. This way, a colleague doesn't have to spend their day answering the same questions over and over again.
➕ They are available 24/7, at night and on public holidays.
➕ They build a database based on user questions, proactively interacting with each other and drawing many useful conclusions later. Bots can initiate conversations and monitor how users navigate websites, resulting in the ability to offer customer-specific incentives.
➕ They save time. Bots represent a new frontier in business. They can automate tasks that need to be done frequently and at specific times, freeing up valuable human time to focus on other, more pressing issues.
➕ An immediate response without waiting improves the image of the company among customers. The hours-long Für Elise silence is over. No more waiting for the lines to open and finally connect you to an operator.
➕ A simple communication process can also improve conversion rates for e-commerce bots.
➕ They make it easier to grow your business by helping you to expand your business into global markets by addressing customer problems and questions in multiple languages. Plus, 24/7 access allows customers to use them regardless of their time zone - making businesses more accessible to everyone.
Applications of voicebots
Customers need to be able to contact the service provider or e-commerce site operator immediately and as quickly as possible. Voice-based solutions, therefore, increase further customer satisfaction. And the range of applications is vast, almost unlimited and growing at an eye-watering rate every day.
Taking restaurant orders and making reservations
Delivering promotions to users
Marketing campaign that interacts with users
Providing assistance in online shops
Handling customer service queries
Booking theatre tickets, airline tickets
Here comes your solution!
The use of bots is also very useful from a marketing perspective. Because...
... we can deliver personalised messages. Think about it, bots can address consumers by name.
... we can increase engagement. We can offer a direct solution to your problem, of course, based on the information we collect about you.
... we can collect qualified leads. A lot of valuable time can be saved by having the bot ask pre-defined qualifying questions during the conversation with the customer so that later the salesperson actually contacts the customer with an offer that they are really interested in.
A good example
Do you want to provide a personalised experience for consumers? Using voicebots and optimizing for voice assistants, is already possible. But why stop there and settle for that? Take the example of Burger King, which proved back in '17, when Google VUI debuted, that we live in a world of infinite possibilities, all it takes is a little creativity to get it right.
Click through for the video where the guys at Business Insider show you what the Florida fast food chain's campaign was and why it was genius.
The use of chatbots in the lives of companies is clearly increasing customer satisfaction. As a result, the number of companies using chatbots is growing exponentially.
At the same time, the growing demand is a major challenge for developers, and it is true that in many areas, the technology is still in its infancy. But the capital that is flowing into the industry will allow us to close current gaps in the short term and open up new areas of application that we are currently not even thinking about.
Don't get left behind, optimise to deliver a higher experience and increase engagement! If you found the ideas interesting, read our previously published articles and become the king of e-commerce!
And if you need help and more information, just say: hey, (name of your favourite assistant)