Simtech Development

Voice Search and Virtual Assistants: Pains vs Gains for eCommerce

Gayane Tamrazyan

Voice assistants are now becoming more and more widespread. Everybody already heard once about Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, or Amazon Alexa. There are +20 voice-enabled assistants actually that help users communicate with their smart devices by voice to find any information they need absolutely hands-free. Voice assistant is not something futuristic. It is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) hands-on application used in almost any area of life including the eCommerce one, of course. With voice-driven shopping, eCommerce brands can generate devotion while offering a better shopping experience to their potential customers, but not only. In this post, we are figuring out what is the use of voice assistants for online brand owners and managers, pains and gains that online merchants would possibly have with this AI application, and what issues may arise while integrating a voice assistant with your CS-Cart-based store.

45 percent of internet users now say they use voice search and voice commands each month, compared to the 43 percent that we reported in January. Furthermore, voice interface use now extends to more than half of internet users in India, China, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey. For context, these five countries represent some of the largest internet populations in the world, accounting for more than 40 percent of total global users.

Source: datareportal.com

What’s the use of Voice Search Assistant in eCommerce?

The benefits of virtual voice assistants are explained by natural language processing as the machine interprets what people are saying and converts the speech into written text. For eCommerce retailers, such an assistant is a valuable asset. Take the Amazon case. Its Alexa has been successfully embedded into the Amazon platform and its vendors’ products. Virtual assistants are available on StubHub and help with finding local concerts, on Uber where they facilitate local rides, on Domino’s – to allow pre-ordering and tracking your dinner status online. Virtual assistants add more value to the way customers purchase in an online store.

Apart from the obvious comfort of voice-enabled searches and purchases you may provide to your buyers with a voice assistant connected to your online store, there is one more benefit behind such an integration. Imagine, how easily you can manage your store while driving your car and listening to a voice that reports your online shop transactions, or daily visitors, or the number of unfulfilled orders!

How does Voice Assistant technology work? The Alexa case

Although, there are lots of successful apps developed by world giants like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and others, for the sake of this article we will examine the case of the Amazon Alexa. You can explore the benefits of each app by yourself. 

We take the Amazon example for the only reason to showcase the possible usage of a voice assistant for online retailers. 

Amazon uses its Echo smart devices to connect to a smart technology device. This connection is possible thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) technology that interconnects all IoT-based devices automatically. Alexa is a voice search assistant that communicates with smart devices to provide the search results. When you want to use Echo, saying the “Alexa” activation word out loud is enough to wake up the Echo instantly. 

Amazon is not a limit for Alexa. It allows connecting to any other eCommerce piece of software. Alexa enables the voice-command-based shopping for CS-Cart stores and marketplaces if they have been preliminarily interconnected.

After getting a VA hooked up to your online platform running on CS-Cart, you can check the store status, get statistics on orders, or traffic reports.

To make it possible, enabling so-called “skill sets” settings in your Alexa account will be required. A skill must have a phrase that identifies it. 

Below is a tentative list of what an online retailer can ask Alexa:

Orders and sales reporting:

– Alexa, how many orders are this month in my eCommerce store?

– Tell me about my sales this month?

– How many unfulfilled orders I have?

Report on your store bestsellers:

– Alexa, what are my best selling products this month?

– What’s the highest sold product for this year?

The average value of your orders over a period:

– Alexa, tell me what was the average order value in my eCommerce store in 2020?

– Ask my eCommerce store to find me the average order value in June.

Summary of your store visitors:

– Alexa, ask my eCommerce store for my analytics this month.

Your customers can also link Amazon Echo with your store and ask Alexa

Below are some exemplary skills for the customer that you can add:

– Are there new products?

– How can I get in touch with customer service to talk about my order?

– Is there an iPhone 11 now in stock?

Gains you have with the integration of a Voice Search Assistant technology:

– Boosting customer engagement with an unforgettable shopping experience.

– Creating emotional bonds with your customers with your brand allowing them to ‘talk’ to your eCommerce store.

– Improving SEO and traffic to your website covering a gap in voice searches.

– Increasing your store reputation with embedded latest trendy technology.

Possible Voice Assistant pain points and solutions

Possible pain points with Alexa

While connecting with a voice assistant technology, you should pay attention to the compatibility with the add-ons installed in your store.

Take an example of Google AMP for SEO, the add-on that also serves the aim of improving SEO to your online shopping cart making your web pages load faster.

Alexa has a Certify Code for AMP for pages that use AMP. In order for Alexa to measure traffic for your AMP-enabled pages, you will need to add a specific code to them.

Recently, we’ve encountered a case. There was a need to make the Google AMP code compliant with the Alexa Certify Code requirements. Our developers examined the requirements for Alexa certifications to make sure that the script tag meets them all. We found that the Google AMP for SEO actually meets the Alexa certification rules but currently doesn’t support the required piece of code. We helped our customer to add it to his eCommerce website.

Benefits with Alexa metrics for online stores

Now, after fine-tuning the VA settings, the proper interconnecting of your CS-Cart and VA, and getting all the concerned add-ons compliant with it, the website owner can benefit from all the advantages of Alexa Certified Site Metrics:

  • Performance: Visits, Pageviews, Unique Visitors, and Ranks;
  • Social: Breakdown of visits by a social network;
  • Engagement: Bounce Rate, Pageviews/Visit, Minutes/Visit;
  • Mobile: Visits, Device, and Platform
  • Location: Visits by Country Map, Percent of Visits by Country,
  • And more!

Final words

If you want to get all the power of a virtual voice assistant in your online store or marketplace on CS-Cart, just send us a request. Our eCommerce consultants will explain how to hook up a VA. They will help to buddy up all the pieces of code in your customized store!

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