More than 33 million consumers in the U.S. are expected to shop using a smart speaker in 2022, and 51% of online shoppers now use voice assistants to research products before they buy. With more consumers relying on Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri to search for local products and services, brands are looking at how to incorporate voice into their existing marketing strategies.
Voice technology has been on the verge of going mainstream for nearly a decade. Despite big players like Amazon and Google launching their own smart speakers, and millions of consumers using the devices in their homes, investors in the voice technology space have been patiently waiting for the spark that would set off a new touchless world.
That spark is Covid-19.
The trend of moving customer experience beyond the screen has been dubbed “conversational customer care.” It’s still unclear just how many channels are included under this umbrella or how the future of conversational customer care will look. Brands that are dealing with demanding customers can’t afford to sit back and wait for this to play out. Screen-free customer experiences could be the future. They could be just a single touchpoint in the broader context of customer experience strategy. Or, they could just be a passing fad.
But the chances that voice-first customer experiences are a fad seem to be shrinking.
Because marketing through the connected home is still in its infancy, most brands are in the experimental phase. Even though there are plenty of opportunities for connecting with consumers through smart appliances and devices, brands have to be careful in their approach to avoid overstepping boundaries or coming off as “creepy.” Regardless, the sheer volume of connected products hitting the market ensures that brands have an unprecedented number of new avenues to reach people inside their own homes.
Here are five innovative connected home marketing strategies being pioneered by brands and retail marketers.
Consumer demand for voice technology has never been greater, and industry heavyweights like Google and Amazon are gearing up for a platform war as they work to integrate voice assistants into virtually every area of the connected consumer’s life. But behind the scenes, many brand marketers are struggling to connect the dots and design campaigns around a technology they don’t fully understand.
Forty-two percent of U.S. consumers already say they’ve used voice assistants in the last three months, and industry forecasters are predicting that 20% of all user interactions with smartphones will take place through these assistants within the next three years. Here are six ways that local businesses can start preparing.
It turns out reports of voice calling’s death are greatly exaggerated. Despite an explosion in data usage and mobile messaging, voice calling — facilitated by search and virtual assistants — remains a popular activity among mobile users. A lot of those calls are going to local businesses, where they are more likely to convert to revenue than web forms or emails.
Microsoft recently announced that Bing turned its first profit since being launched in 2009. The company continues to extend its reach, grow its share of the search market, and add features that make it a stronger commerce tool. The question businesses should be asking is not whether Bing will catch up to Google, but whether they view Bing as a critical publisher to improve the reach of their location data.