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.”
“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.