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Over 35 Percent Of Consumers Have Already Made A Purchase Using A Voice Assistant

Discoverability via voice matters more than ever. As such, marketers need to think about how they can become a voice assistant’s preferred answer.

Approximately 35 percent of consumers have purchased a consumer product or retail item using a voice assistant, according to a new report from Capgemini cited by eMarketer — indicating that users’ comfortability with voice-based commerce is something that marketers need to think about now.

Additionally, 34 percent of survey respondents said they had ordered a meal via a voice assistant, underscoring an increased reliance on the technology to power a variety of aspects of life, from securing a service — like food delivery or calling an Uber — to making actual retail purchases.

The report highlights the fact that multiple large retailers — Walmart in the U.S., the France-based Sephora — have already partnered with the likes of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant in order to “allow consumers to do things such as make purchases, book beauty sessions and add items to their online grocery shopping carts through the technology.” But what else can brands do to boost their discoverability via these voice-based assistants in the meantime?

Becoming A Voice Assistant’s Top Answer

This trend towards an increased willingness to make both searches and purchases via voice means that marketers need to prioritize ranking in the kind of queries users most commonly make — as well as thinking about how to become a voice assistant’s preferred answer.

As Hilton’s director of global SEO, Melissa Walner, put it earlier this year, “the challenge… is making sure that [you] have the content on your website that is answering the questions that customers are actually looking for. This means making sure you know exactly what your customers are searching for: Looking at different types of search query data is very helpful. A lot of times, people will think they know what their customer is looking for, but then you find out later on — especially when it comes to using voice search — that they didn’t know the intent [behind the query.]”

Essentially, marketers need to make sure they know exactly what their customers are asking for — knowing the intent behind it, and then making sure they have content on their site that specifically addresses and answers it in order to rank in these search results.

Yext VP of Industry Insights Duane Forrester echoed this sentiment in a discussion following the release of his book, Voice Search Changes Everything: “Marketers… have to adopt that long-tail, conversational phrase approach to targeting what to produce content around. You do need to build the detailed answers. You have to think about this in terms of the common and uncommon questions that are related to your product and services. Let’s use an example: If a person buys a “red widget,” inevitably, they’re going to need a widget polishing cloth, and you sell a widget polishing cloth. Well, that means you have to talk about red widgets. That’s an easy win for you.”