The adoption of Smart Speakers is a trend that settled deeply into the USA and that is now expanding to other regions. This growth ended up creating a new market for Voice Commerce, that is to say, for purchases made through voice commands. According to estimations made by specialized consultants, in the next three years consumers will destinate 18% of their total income to voice-made shopping. Grocery and food were, without a doubt, the protagonists of this boom.
By the end of 2018, 20% of USA homes already had a Smart Speaker. Compared to 2017, the presence of Voice Speakers increased a 128% from one year to the other. Currently, their uses vary, but voice purchases already make 3% of homes’ total spending. Projections indicate that this number will ascend to 31% by 2021.
Within the most demanded categories, food and groceries reached the first place. 31% of shoppers bought grocery products during 2018 and another 27% declared that despite have not done one, they were planning to do it in the near future. A Voice commerce boom is expected for 2019 and estimations indicate that FMCG categories will experience the greater impact. Consequently, the industry must be prepared to face the challenge.
For the CPG industry, the boom of Voice Commerce creates an amazing opportunity that it is not limited to purchases. It can be a great occasion for the development of digital marketing as it encourages companies to seize all their creative potential.
While 8% to 10% of users already made an end-to-end purchase through a Smart Speaker, a greater percentage used it to create a purchase basket before making the check out through an online web or app. This means that the development of algorithms that achieve to correctly capture all searched products will become a requirement increasingly important for companies that seek to stand out in this industry.
Smart Speakers also gave the potential to became a new communication mean for advertisements, as well as new source for market studies. Voice commerce poses the possibility -and the challenge- to create innovative content that can fit this format, like audio recipes or new slogans, but also to obtain valuable information about the purchase experience and shoppers’ opinion through post-sale surveys.
The battle for the first place
There are multiple ways to seize this new digital purchase modality. The most committed brands with digitalization are aware of its potential and are exploring its multiple possibilities.
The Clorox case is an excellent example. This company made cleaning products’ containers smaller and safer, which made delivery easier and reduced the risk of content leaks. Thanks to this, Clorox products became an “Amazon’s Choice”. This means that if a shopper asks Alexa for a cleaning product, there is a great probability to obtain a Clorox product as the first recommendation. This will have an impact on the conversion rate.
To became the platform’s choice brand, it is essential to guarantee availability and an on-time delivery, despite the volatility of the demand.
Voice Commerce in Europe
In the UK, Ocado -the online supermarket- developed a new skill for Alexa, that enables voice shopping. The technology used was registered by Morrisons, the fourth biggest supermarket chain of the country. Tesco, Asda and Argoshave also betted for Voice Commerce but through Google Home, presenting their new solutions in this platform. In Germany, Allyouneed Fresh launched its own integration at the Amazon platform.
Alexa, Amazon’s speaker, has 62% of market share of voice-command devices, two times Google’s one. Nonetheless, Google Home is seen by some retails as a more reasonable bet to avoid turning the partner of Amazon, which turned into a direct competitor since it started to focuss on grocery sales with the acquisition of Whole Foods.
Even though the development of Voice Commerce is in an early stage, many of the most prominent FMCG companies are already working to adapt themselves to these new challenges. Without doubts, 2019 will be an excellent year for grocery voice-sales.