With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to quarantine and social distance, a lot of time has been spent getting acquainted with our well-known friends, Alexa and Siri.
Amazon and Apple’s virtual assistants are no longer brand-new technology, but voice-to-talk and voice search functionality continues to grow in both understanding and popularity.
Siri, a brainchild of the U.S. military, was introduced by Apple nearly a decade ago as part of the tech companies unveiling of its iPhone 4s devices.
By 2019, more than 3 billion voice assistants were in use around the globe, with 30% being owned by Google.
Current research estimates that that number will increase to 8 billion by the year 2023, with smartphone assistants making up the majority.
A Growing Industry
Voice commerce – the use of voice commands to search for and purchase products online – should also see significant growth and is expected to reach over $80 billion by the year 2023, according to the same Juniper Research study.
This number includes money transfers and purchase of digital goods.
“We expect the majority of voice commerce to be digital purchases, until digital assistants offer truly seamless cross-platform experiences” said research author James Moar, in a news release. “Connected TVs and smart displays are vital here, as they can provide a visual context that is lacking in smart speakers.”
Despite the eye-popping numbers, a 2019 report by Walker Sands showed that only 15% of consumers made a voice commerce purchase during that year.
On the upside, 42% of people with voice assistant-capable devices reported that they made a purchase with the software, a number as high as 53% among the 26-35 age demographic.
“The magic of voice shopping is convenience, with the ideal use case being re-orders of consumable goods, especially since smart speakers are often in or near the kitchen,” said Kurt Elster, on his Unofficial Shopify Podcast.
SEO is Key
As companies and brands work to keep up with the growing shift to voice commerce, the importance of practicing strong search engine optimization (SEO) habits is at the forefront.
In order to make your company voice search friendly, it is important to consider the following:
- 39% of people who use voice search are looking for business information, so make sure yours is correct and up to date with a current address, phone number and location.
- Voice searching is often used on mobile devices, so make sure your mobile website is clean, fast, and easy to use.
- Include conversational writing. Attempting to mimic how a consumer will speak to their voice assistant could help your business show up first.
Aim to be featured. Google features certain search results on top of organic ones, based on their ability to answer a user’s question right away. Being specific and concise with your meta data and keywords can give you a leg up.