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Voice Commerce: How Alexa brings you into the home of your customers

More and more people are using a language assistant in their homes, and Amazon’s Alexa is at the forefront. Alexa knows how the weather will be. Alexa also knows if there is traffic on the way to work, and when the cake in the oven is ready.

The new roommate is not only helpful for enriching the lives of users, but also interesting for companies. With Alexa, Amazon has created a new connection between companies and consumers and has thus thrown old marketing principles overboard. The newly created Voice Commerce channel plays by its own rules. Now it is a matter of developing good strategies to win the game.

Voice Commerce creates new access to target groups

Anyone currently involved in the future of commerce cannot avoid one term – Voice Commerce. Voice Commerce is a marketing and sales channel created by the increasing spread of voice assistants. One thing this means is the possibility to sell products via voice command. At the same time, a new touchpoint in the Customer Journey for branding, service and marketing opens up.

Amazon's Echo with integrated Alexa (Source: Screenshot amazon.co.uk)
Amazon's Echo with integrated Alexa (Source: Screenshot amazon.co.uk)

By positioning Alexa appliances in consumers’ kitchens, bedrooms and living rooms, a new gateway to customers has been created. Voice assistants offer the opportunity to establish and integrate a company into the consumer’s everyday life. This changes the way brands and consumers interact with each other. The development of Voice Commerce may still seem timid, but the figures speak for themselves:

Over 20%

of UK Households have Smart Speakers

3x

The number of language assistants worldwide is expected to triple by 2023.

Now it’s time to take matters into your own hands and position yourself as a first mover in Voice Commerce.

Those who recognize the potential will shape the future of retail

Those who decide to enter the homes of their customers with Alexa have many options. But which one is the right one for your own company?

Buying by Voice Command – how does my product become Alexa’s number 1?

Purchasing by Voice Command is still hard to imagine for many people. Nevertheless, a new sales channel is opening up here, which absolutely must be occupied. Those who recognize the potential early on will help shape the future of retail.

Which products are actually suitable for purchasing via voice assistant? A general answer to this question is not easy. Nevertheless, following a few basic rules show a clear trend:

  • Simple and self-explanatory products such as tissues, are ideal for ordering via voice: the customer is already familiar with the nature of the product and the price is not too high. Additional questions are largely excluded.
  • Digital services such as films, music or audio can be easily ordered via voice: The customer knows exactly what he is looking for. No risk of confusion means more security when buying via voice command.
  • Repeated purchases such as reordering household goods or hygiene products are perfectly suited for Alexa. Here, not only the customer knows exactly what he wants, but also Alexa. Smart devices in the kitchen motivate customers to order directly and make everyday life easier.

How do I get Alexa to recommend my product?

Alexa is spoilt for choice.Those who have not yet left this field have a great chance of selling their products successfully via Voice Command. How do you get Alexa to recommend exactly your product?

Amazon Strategy

Develop an Amazon strategy, including an ideal supply chain and efficient Account Management.

The Amazon’s Choice badge

Good product reviews, accurate descriptions and fast delivery make your product Amazon’s Choice.

Keyword Optimization

Accurate, relevant keywords and optimized Content are the basis of all success on Amazon.

Order history of users

Encourage your customers to buy your products through Alexa related campaigns and discounts. This way you secure a place in Alexa’s future recommendations.

Note: A high position in the voice search results is essential for success in voice purchasing.

What if the product does not belong to the category self-explanatory, digital or repeat purchase? The reality is, customers are unlikely to start ordering rows of washing machines by Voice Command.

What potential does voice offer you if you sell washing machines, kitchen appliances or Smartwatches?

Alexa Skills: the real key to the customer’s home

Some people consider the development of voice shopping to be sluggish. However, this does not apply to Alexa Skills. The number of speech-based apps for Amazon’s lovely assistant is growing rapidly. In Germany alone, the number of available Skills rose by 152% in 2018. Those who focus on Alexa Skills first will further up the sales funnel. This is how you strengthen your own brand and create the perfect basis for success in Voice Commerce.

The challenge? To offer customers a skill with real added value.

Alexa skills offer completely new marketing opportunities (Source: Screenshot amazon.co.uk)
Alexa skills offer completely new marketing opportunities (Source: Screenshot amazon.co.uk)

The currency of Voice Commerce is added value

The new language-based world, in which Alexa has sovereignty, follows its own laws. Those who do not follow them will fail miserably in their attempt to gain the favor of the Queen – and especially that of her subjects. The change from visual to purely verbal communication is only the beginning.

The currency of the future is relevance and the currency of Voice Commerce is added value. But just as red is not just red, added value not just added value. A make-up tutorial may make sense as a video, but it is probably useless as an auditory Alexa Skill.

What makes a successful Alexa Skill?

As you know, there are many roads that lead to Rome. However, the following points should be considered when developing your own skills.

  • Added value: The skill must offer customers added value. This can be, for example, an extension of their own products via additional services or the digitalization of the product.
  • Uniqueness: An exchangeable skill is of no value. The skill should offer the user a unique experience, because a unique experience is what will motivate the user to use the skill.
  • Reason to come back: Many skills come and go. To prevent this from happening to one’s own skill, the skill should always give users a reason to return. For example, through daily updates, news or the creation of a daily routine.
  • User friendliness: A user-friendly speech/Skill design is an absolute must-have for an Alexa skill. Design it the way it would be spoken – this is the essential principle. An unnatural voice design is frustrating for users, and they will quickly lose interest in the skill.

The example of Fitbit shows how a relevant added value can be generated for users. The verbal request of their own fitness data and goals or the setting of a timer makes everyday life easier. Because all data can be retrieved while doing important things like ginger shots, yoga and Instagram.

Alexa skills must offer users added value (Source: Screenshot amazon.com)
Alexa skills must offer users added value (Source: Screenshot amazon.com)

With daily and weekly goals, the Fitbit Skill creates the ultimate “reason to come back” – because no progress is regression. And who would want to expose their own laziness, even before Alexa?

Even if there is still some catching up to do in terms of user-friendliness and uniqueness, it is a clear win-win for Fitbit: satisfied users + integration into their everyday life.

Fazit

Language based content marketing with Alexa Skills needs to be learned, but is worth the effort. With Alexa Skills, literally every door in the customer’s house is open to you – and there is not a lot of competition inVoice Commerce yet. If you are not yet ready to sell via speech, you should at least develop your own Alexa skill as soon as possible. This will give you the decisive edge against your competitors.

About the author

Maria Heuger

Editor

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