The way we experience commerce is being radically changed by new technologies that bring the shopping experience to familiar and not-so-familiar screens and devices. Every big player in the technology game is carving out a new evolutionary path for everyday commerce.
There’s Something About Alexa
This year at CES – an annual global consumer electronics and technology tradeshow – Amazon’s Alexa dominated the buzz. Amazon’s response to Apple’s Siri has been so successful, in part because Amazon left Alexa’s programming open to third party manufacturers. Companies like Whirlpool and Samsung can tap into its capabilities as a voice command program, and are building ovens and washing machines that can now be voice-controlled through Alexa.
As Alexa integrates into the hardware of our lives, Amazon’s ability to offer voice-driven commerce will increase. Imagine a world where you can order detergent directly from your dishwasher. This trend in voice command commerce will only accelerate as people see how easy commodity shopping and home delivery can be with AI voice-command – particularly with repeat purchases.
Tech Giants Take the Lead
As Google pushes web commerce experiences to the next level with its Progressive Web Apps, there will be many incentives for retailers to reinvest in their web presence. The new face of the mobile web is one that looks and behaves like an app, with voice commerce features coming in the near future. There will be enormous conversion benefits for those retailers who are interested in staying ahead of their competition to offer the latest in convenient, engaging web experiences.
Facebook has been at the forefront of conversational commerce, developing more and more assistance for consumers via Messenger bots. Following suit, Ebay now has messenger bots to help with customer queries.
As a retailer, it might be difficult to discern which of these innovations you need to invest in. The reality is, you will eventually have to support all of them. Being where your customers are is the most basic way to increase conversions, and today, customers need you to be at every point along their customer journey. Understanding what channels they are using at different stages of the journey is the most valuable business insight you can have.
Progressive Web Apps may be perfect for product merchandising with their big images and fast connections, but you may prefer a Messenger bot or AI for providing customer support. For higher value purchases, your customers may want to visit the store, and for lower value purchases, your customers may want to order from Alexa.
Today’s retail landscape requires that brands think holistically and strategically to design their optimal customer experience. In order to do this you will need a comprehensive, multi-channel strategy that includes the many faces and voices of commerce today. You should be prepared with a smart strategy and the face and voice of your brand, ready to greet your customers wherever they are.