One in four Google searches is made through the voice feature. Today, you don’t even have to get off your couch to order a pizza. Just tell your voice-activated device you want a large pepperoni with jalapeños and extra cheese. You can even tell it to order your weekly groceries.
Consumer shopping habits are changing rapidly, and voice technology is transforming decisions on a massive scale. According to Global Web Index, about 25 percent of 16-24-year-olds use mobile voice search, while Social Media Today says that 50 percent of people already use voice search when researching products. A consumer report by Navar revealed that 22 percent of voice device users make purchases directly through their device, and 17 percent have used it to reorder items.
Voicecon, a three-day conference hosted by Gary Vaynerchuk’s company Vayner Media, attracted more than 400 executives from many different industries to discuss the state of the union in voice and digital audio. “The reason I wanted to do Voicecon is everybody here is underestimating how voice is about to change their lives,” Vaynerchuk said in a video recap for the event.
Customers want a seamless, customized experience from ordering to delivery. Voice provides a frictionless experience that consumers have never seen. Research firm OC&C Strategy Consultants says voice shopping is expected to nreach $40 billion in 2022, compared to around $2 billion in 2018.
Dominos, Wingstop, KFC and Starbucks are just a few popular chains pioneering the integration of voice ordering with some creative ways to connect with customers. “Voice activation has become common in their homes and on their phones,” says Kevin Fish, Vice President of Digital Technology at Wingstop. Total digital ordering, including voice, accounts for more than 20 percent of the company’s sales.
Starbucks introduced My Starbucks Barista in 2017—a technology that allows customers to speak orders into an app and accepts text-based orders. Dominos’ human-like virtual voiceordering assistant, called Dom, works on iPhone and Android devices and integrated with Alexa and Google Home devices in 2016. Since then, it has already surpassed half a million orders.
Popular catchphrases are a big part of Dom’s appeal to help strengthen the Dominos brand and customer loyalty. There are a few negatives of voice ordering that still need addressing. It can be more difficult to confirm orders without a screen when ordering through a device like Amazon’s Alexa. Certain accents can still be challenging for some technology to interpret. Many people are reluctant to say their credit card information out loud. However, voice shopping is only going to grow, and the three key factors are speed, convenience and customization.