Its 2019 and running an eCommerce store is not an easy task. One may question why? Isn’t it so much easier to set up an eCommerce store? Today there are apps/solutions for every stage of the sales funnel, right from building to marketing your store
But this is not sufficient, as these platforms/solutions are available to every eCommerce entrepreneur. In short, anyone with an eCommerce store today has a blog, runs ads, offers discounts and deliveries. Hence these are merely hygiene checks. How does a store differentiate itself from others?
If you are looking to learn about offering a different and a better experience to your customers, which ultimately results in increasing repeat orders, then you need to learn about how you can increase repeat orders through voice.
Voice commerce is exactly what it sounds like: using your voice to place orders. Just as users have become accustomed to asking Alexa or Google Home for checking the weather, playing a song or simply repeating their order from Dominos or Starbucks, they are now looking for their favorite eCommerce stores too, on Alexa. Let’s take a look at how a typical voice shopping experience might happen:
“Alexa, repeat my last order from Gregory’s”
“Okay, according to your order history, I found Chocolate mocha. Would you like to buy it?”
Devices like Amazon Alexa, for example, can remember a user’s order history, remind shoppers when they’re due to order, and track an order delivery status. It can also automatically include all available coupons and discounts offered by a store, as well as recommend the best brands of each product according to reviews posted by other Amazon customers.
Any eCommerce store is designed to increase repeat orders as that is the most important metric. It is becoming increasingly difficult for eCommerce stores to attract new customers due to the high cost of acquisitions from both paid and organic channels. In order to increase the repeat purchase, stores need to focus on convenience or the ease of the repeat order. What does that mean?
It means that although your store is set up for maximum conversion through the best conversion optimization practices, but the repeat order cycle should be even more conversion focused and easier keeping in mind that the store already has all the information and a customer who has interacted with your store earlier, it is just about the checkout now.
According to Seventh Sense: Average repeat purchase rates for ecommerce companies fall between 20 to 40% in most studies.
2019 is the year when voice commerce took concrete steps to break out from the ‘hype’ and found its calling in the eCommerce space. Voice commerce has become one of the biggest retail trends. According to techcrunch, voice shopping is estimated to hit $40B+ across the US and UK by 2022, up from $2B today. While $2B may not be an impressive figure in the world of retail, but it is also a sign that the phenomenon of voice shopping is just getting started.
So how do you implement voice to impact your repeat orders?
This section of the blog attempts to decode how brands can leverage voice to impact their revenue through repeat orders.
Considering the nature of voice search commerce and comparing it to commerce on the web or mobile, it is difficult to replicate a very similar experience on voice as in most cases people want to look through the product catalog, explore different products, compare prices on different portals or simply to different brands on the same portal. This is difficult to offer on voice, given there is no real estate and it could also lead to bad Voice UI. Think about purchasing a brand new pair of jeans through voice on Alexa or Google Home, it could possibly lead to multiple interactions, which is not voice is here for. Voice is here to cut down the time to purchase products, by avoiding sign ups, logins or app downloads. Hence the most obvious and convenient use case is “repeat orders”
Let’s take a look at a sample voice ordering interaction for repeat orders, below is exactly how the flow would work:
User: Alexa, Open Gregorys
Alexa: Welcome to Gregorys, you can either say repeat my last order or say what are my previous orders.
User: Repeat my last order
Alexa: Adding 1 quantity of Cafe mocha to your cart. Say Yes to place your order!
Alexa: Placing your order for 1 items of total amount of $3. 203, 42nd Times Square will be used for delivery within 30 minutes. Say yes to authorize to use Amazon Pay.
User: Yes, I authorize Amazon Pay
Alexa:Thank you for authorizing Amazon Pay. $3 will be paid using Amazon Pay. Order is successfully placed. Thank you for using our services.
Why is this powerful? To understand that, let’s talk a little about how we reorder something on the web. Take a look at the example of reordering from Amazon
Step 1: Login to Amazon
Step 2: Proceed to your past orders
Step 3: Identify the order you’d like repeat again
Step 4: Add product to cart
Step 5: Checkout and make payment
While there is no hassle in this process but it still needs a login, browsing products, confirming payment details through CVV/confirmation codes and then placing an order.
Now lets compare this to how it works in voice, there is no need of login, it is just conversations from the comfort of your couch. Hence repeat orders make a lot more sense through voice as a channel. All of the details can be fetched from the POS (Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and so on). All the user needs to do is, talk! But one needs to be aware of the problems that exist with voice as a channel. Let’s take a look at some of the problems that exist currently with voice commerce.
Just like other emerging technologies, voice shopping is not without its issues. With many stories of data breach, users could be hesitant to use voice shopping out of security reasons. But the interesting thing to note is that Amazon’s Alexa uses a four-digit pin to ensure that users make a purchase only when intended but Google does not offer such a system yet.
Another issue is with payment processing. Banks, Credit Card issuers and other financial institutions need to catch up with the explosive growth of voice commerce. Again, Amazon is ahead of the curve and integrates seamlessly with Amazon Pay to process payments, and from the consumers end, it needs no new login/signup. If you use Amazon already, all you need to do is start using the Alexa skill.
To answer, your and the potential customers question on how does creating, or building an alexa skill make sense for a business: There is a blocker mentally, if the primary goal of a business is to pay for something with little value in customer acquisition.
The thing that a voice app provides is the same thing that other channels of advertising outreach also provide, Brand building and additional customer value associated to (businesses brand) versus competitors brand.
Let’s take a Dentist SEO example “Dr. Bob contemplates a skill, if his primary goal is customer acquisition he could spend his money better with print, billboards, TV ect. however if his competition is also advertising he can create a difference in he provides a useful skill that can provide a count down counter to be sure your children brush long enough, or reminders about oral hygiene and maybe so it is truly useful can set calendar events for cleanings, or allows to make appointments.
The market to create skills is new, however the goal is to provide branded value to customers and devise angles to increase revenue for businesses. It is very hard to step outside of the developer mindset, and become a marketing guru, but think about any business and what the customer interaction is, why do they decide to like brand A versus brand B, now provide something that the other company isn’t providing and see if that doesn’t shift the customer perception.
This is applicable to businesses of any and all kinds.
About the Author
Anmol Oberoi is the founder of Emitrr – a voice-first Saas platform that helps service businesses enable voice appointment booking, voice ordering, and voice marketing. Anmol has 5 years experience scaling marketing efforts of two multi-million dollar Saas platforms. Apart from Saas and marketing, he loves reading technology-related content and playing basketball.