Either through chat bots or by using intelligent speakers and mobile phones: virtual assistants are the future of eCommerce.We are going to tell you how they influence.Technology is developing all aspects of our lives. E-commerce cannot keep itself aside, especially taking into account that it is consequence of this evolution. Today, we suggest the following question do you think that virtual assistants are the future of eCommerce?
What is a virtual assistant?
This term refers to an element of artificial intelligence that allows, in a conversational manner and with a natural language, establish an interaction with the user that is intended to solve a specific need or generate an action by means of this.
Probably the best example of this are chat bots and voice assistants like Alexa from Amazon, Siri from Apple, or those incorporated in Google devices, both phones and its range of Home intelligent speakers.
This type of robots are becoming part of our lives very quickly up to the point of supposing a change in the way we interact with our digital environment.
SEO was the first to be affected by these changes and if only in this respect, it would be already affecting e-commerce directly. Users are starting to look for a much more natural way, in which semantics is key above the “reductionist” model which translates search intentions to key words.But there is more…
The evolution towards Voice Commerce
According to forecasts by Comescore (one of the biggest in analytics) by 2020, 50% of searches will be accomplished through voice commands and 30% will be got by using non-screen devices as the aforementioned speakers.
The impact on e-commerce sales is expected to be crucial, making a very significant quantitative leap. Only in the United States we are talking about moving from 1,800 million in sales of this interface in 2017 to a projection of 40,000 for 2.022 (source: Voice Bot).
This already virtually affects to any sector, segment and niche of the market transversely, but, of course not to the same extent. For example, purchases that took place last year through “voice” were distributed in the following way:
Clothing and accessories: 8%
It seems logical that the products that will be more successful in this new model of purchase are those that less depend on visual support. Food, for example, we do not need to see a sliced bread pack, we just know we need it to replace. Therefore, the virtual Assistant will process our purchase of convenience and high repetition.
It is even more surprising to see other categories which are influenced by emotion and aesthetics. To a certain extent buying a very specific electronic device in terms of brand and model may seem reasonable, but in fashion we would say that it is a bit more risky. Even so, numbers speak of 8% sales and the expected development will be remarkable only by keeping that percentage.
The complexity of choice drives virtual assistants
As customers, we face increasingly to a broader range of possibilities and options. What can be seen as a positive development, it also generates certain stress and difficulties when it comes to choose a product or another, even a store.
Another research, in this case conducted by Smart Assistant, says that more than half of the users of an eCommerce, specifically 54%,leave a store if the choosing process is too complex.
No matter how well our site is designed and even though we think about the user experience, we may find ourselves before certain paralysis by the user who does not progress through the customer journey. This is related to his FUDs (fears uncertainties and doubts).
How can eCommerce voice assistants help us in this aspect? Well, in a decisive way. According to data provided by Smart Assistant, 44% of users recognize that they would like to receive greater interactivity from retailers, like advice or simple proactive assistance.
When we identify buying and use paterns, we can largely automate this interaction by addressing the customer just when there are doubts, for example, when detecting an erratic behavior or they spend too much time on a particular page within the store.Having a person monitoring this is not neither feasible nor effective at cost level. That is the reason why chat bots-style virtual assistants can be a first line assistance, and also commercial, that can solve a high percentage of cases favourably.
I would like to emphasize the commercial function or, at least, the impact of these assistants may have on sales. Always according to respondents in the aforementioned report, 81% of users say that the use of a virtual assistant can increase their confidence in the purchase, 88% declared openly that they believe are beneficial for any eCommerce and 72% say that they are of great help to find and choose products.
So, back to the question that opened this post, I must say that I am convinced that virtual assistants are the future of eCommerce or, at least, they will contribute directly to drive a change that comes from users and the way they interact.