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BlogHey Siri, How Is Voice-Activation Working?

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US Smart Speaker Ecommerce Shoppers, 2018-2022

Hey Siri, How Is Voice-Activation Working?

One year ago, I wrote a blog about trends for this year. Remarkably many are right on target. One, to my surprise, is lagging behind all the others: That trend topic is shopping and buying via voice activation.

Many of us are experimenting with voice for actions such as directions, phone controls or voice to text. Yet there is, what eMarketer calls it, “lackluster enthusiasm for shopping and buying via voice.”

US Smart Speaker Ecommerce Shoppers, 2018-2022“In 2020, we expected 30.7 million people in the U.S. ages 14 and older would be smart speaker shoppers, accounting for 13.4% of digital shoppers. Those figures will experience slow increases through 2022,” stated eMarketer editors in an Insider Intelligence newsletter.

The number of people who actually buy via voice is very low. With no screen, it isn’t easy to know precisely what you are getting. Compounding the problem are the issues with voice activation. Have you ever asked your navigation system to get directions to “home,” and the system plots a course to “Home, Kansas” or “Home, Pennsylvania?”

Voice search engine optimization can correct the majority of voice issues. The spoken word is much different than what is being typed on a keyboard. And while buying via voice is not growing, search via spoken language is rapidly increasing. According to Adobe Analytics, more than 3 billion people worldwide use voice-activated search.

When you optimize for voice-activated search, don’t forget to include Bing in your thinking. Nearly 70% of voice devices are Alexa. Alexa does not use Google. It uses Bing for results.

Voice may not be big now, but soon, it will feel like it took over overnight when it acts more like Ironman’s J.A.R.V.I.S.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.