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Retail Shopping in the Era of Voice AI


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Voice commerce is the biggest shift in consumer shopping since the advent of mobile ecommerce. Just as the internet did, voice shopping increases convenience and ease while minimizing the friction of traditional retail experiences, including long lines, restrictive store hours, and the lengthy checkout process on traditional websites. Voice penetration in retail is already seeing success in purchasing products, but what are the other areas of the customer shopping journey likely to see new value with the addition of voice interaction?

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Retail Shopping in the Era of Voice AI

  1. 1. Voice AI’s Growing Role in Retail How voice recognition is changing the retail landscape
  2. 2. Introduction For many retailers, artificial intelligence (AI) and voice technology are becoming popular choices in their efforts to continue generating positive returns in 2019 and beyond. One of the key components of any retail experience is communication between brands and customers. In order to increase their margins, brands will do their best to personalize the customer experience, which is where artificial intelligence can contribute both in online and offline interactions.
  3. 3. 40% Percentage of shoppers that will use voice assistants to make purchases by 2021. (Capgemini 2018) Amount of purchases that will be made with voice-enabled devices by 2022. (Voysis 2018) $40B $8B+ Spend on AI technologies by the retail industry by 2024. (Global Market Insights)
  4. 4. How is retail leveraging voice and AI? ● Voice technologies have matured from voice commands to natural language for any smart device. ● Machines now adapt to human language. ● Mass marketing at low price of voice assistants. “TURN ON THE LIGHT” “I would like to increase the brightness in the living room by 30%”
  5. 5. How is retail leveraging voice and AI? VOICE SHOPPERS The percentage of use of voice assistants varies between 34% and 62% depending on the age group (Qriously), with the highest level in the age group 18-24. The most common activities for which shoppers use voice currently occur at the beginning of the purchase journey, rather than at the conversion phase. A combined 87% of online shoppers use voice in the research and selection of products.
  6. 6. How is retail leveraging voice and AI? RETAILERS 28% of retailers have already deployed AI in their operations today, with examples including AI for procurement tasks and optimizing supply chain route plans. Currently, AI is mainly employed in customer-facing retail activities and the sub-sectors leading the way are Apparel and Food & Grocery. Retailers expect that integrating artificial intelligence will build better customer relations and generate higher sales. They also expect AI to enhance customer satisfaction and uncover customer pain points.
  7. 7. What’s next in voice shopping? We will experience a shift in how people use technology day-to-day, and new habits are already developing in relation to this technology. Total smart speaker sales are expected to be as much as $30 billion in 2024 and the amount of voice purchases will jump up in the next few years. Customers will expect post-purchase voice services and greater customization, adapted for their specific use cases. It makes sense for retailers and businesses to embrace this momentum and make their products accessible for purchase through voice assistants to remain competitive.
  8. 8. What will make you profitable? The potential of conversational interfaces is greater because there are productivity gains to be realized with speaking, which is objectively faster than writing or typing. Capgemini estimates a $340 billion savings over time for retailers that are able to scale their AI initiatives over the entire spectrum of their operations. Intelligent voice automation have the potential to create great profitability across the entire value chain, not only in projects that enhance interactions with customers, but also in operations-facing retail activities.
  9. 9. Where will we find AI in retail? 85% Demand forecasting 75% Marketing, ads and campaign mgnt 85% Supply chain planning 79% Customer intelligence 73% Store operations 73% Pricing and promotion IBM’s forecasted penetration of AI across the value chain by 2021.
  10. 10. Deploying AI successfully REQUIREMENTS to deploy AI efficiently in the entire value chain BENEFITS of deploying AI efficiently in the entire value chain ● Preliminary strategic planning ● Organizational prioritization ● Growth mindset ● Real-time decision making ● Quality improvement, agility and efficiency ● Long term cost reduction and revenues increase
  11. 11. Big Tech’s trojan horse risk Voice assistants have immense possibilities. However, in addition to concerns about the protection of privacy, voice assistants expose merchants to the risk of being marginalized by US cloud players in an era where a brand must be a trusted partner for the prospect in order to win that customer’s business. It has certainly become fashionable to own an in-home voice assistant, whether this assistant takes the form of a Google Home or Amazon Alexa-powered device. While a voice assistant is admittedly an innovative technological boost, it puts brands at the mercy of cloud players who gleefully collect customer data and could use that data to compete directly with the brand, if they do not already do so.
  12. 12. Big Tech’s trojan horse risk EXPLICATIVE EXAMPLE Imagine a business that distributes its products through Amazon: its customers must go through Amazon to access its products. Hosting products on Amazon already requires conforming to an undifferentiated brand aesthetic, but beyond this hit to brand identity, Amazon itself benefits from all the information related to the purchase of the business’ products. As a result, Amazon can at its own convenience propose its own products, either by positioning them more advantageously or simply by diverting the customers in question. Cloud players are building a structure in which they become the inescapable center. By allowing cloud players to gather information such as the buying histories and preferences of customers, retailers are exposing themselves to a serious threat.
  13. 13. Big Tech’s trojan horse risk CREATING YOUR OWN ECOSYSTEM For those who choose to use voice assistants, alternatives exist in the form of assistants that work through proprietary technology. These alternatives do not require the data to pass through a third-party cloud. This means adopting a strategy of disengagement with big cloud actors in order to avoid the risk of marginalization and build an ecosystem by joining partners and voice assistant providers who respect consumer privacy.
  14. 14. Founded in 2013 by three PhDs, Snips has 21M€ in funding and over 40 enterprise clients signed within the last year. With the ability to create bespoke voice commands and natural language interfaces, Snips is leading the embedded voice revolution. Click to discover more: