Audio To Revenue

I was recently asked to put an article together on the future of Voice Commerce for the Mediatel ‘Future of Audio Report, read it below or download the full report here.

THE VOICE COMMERCE CUSTOMER JOURNEY TODAY AND THROUGH THE ‘TALKING TWENTIES’


Just as they had to develop an e-commerce strategy in the 90’s and an m-commerce strategy in ‘00s, businesses need a voice commerce strategy today.

There’s a lot to learn from previous web and mobile channel developments.  When mobile apps rose to prominence, seperate mobile departments formed specifically to embrace the mobile channel, as had happened before with brands and agencies creating web teams.  It took several years to realise that the right way to see mobile was as an additive channel, another touchpoint in the overall customer experience.  

For most businesses the mobile channel was complemented by offline and web experiences.  There are obvious exceptions in mobile first/only businesses (e.g. Uber, Instagram) but for the vast majority of companies mobile is an additive customer experience and commerce opportunity and that’s exactly how we should be thinking about voice.    

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By looking at existing customer experience journeys across web and mobile and applying a detailed understanding of how voice reduces friction in the flow you can find the most logical place to begin.  

Working with food and grocery delivery businesses

In 2019 we won the UK and EU rounds of the first ever ‘World Cup of Alexa’ with a service specifically aimed at supporting food and service delivery businesses that didn’t have large technology teams to implement the voice channel.

The ‘jumping off’ opportunity for voice lies with account linking, receiving notifications and being able to ‘check in’ and amend upcoming deliveries.

For Example:

Alexa, ask ready meals what recipes are in my box this week? 

You have cajun chicken and cod with olives and crispy pancetta, would you like to make any changes?  

Yes, can I swap the chicken to a vegan dish?  

No problem, how about satay sweet potato curry?  

That sounds great.  

All sorted for your Thursday delivery, enjoy!

The above, simple, voice dialogue reduces everyday hassle, against the existing 6 step process:

  1. Take phone out of pocket / bag
  2. Unlock
  3. Find app
  4. Open app
  5. Navigate to ‘my orders’ page
  6. Make amends
  7. Put phone away

In the right environment voice is a compelling, frictionless, interface and at the time of writing (April 2020) in the daily lives of the 34% of UK households.  We have seen since the COVID-19 lockdown a 44% YOY increase in smart speaker usage.  The behaviours we had expected to take years are speeding up. As we find our new normal the ability to move away from touching our technology and finding voice interfaces becomes increasingly compelling, with 28% of shoppers expect to be shopping more online after the lockdown ends, less in stores voice commerce will play an important part in the new world.  

Campaign Activation With Voice Assistants

However, for many brands the question is not ‘How do I build voice into my product offering?’ but ‘How do I leverage voice assistants into marketing strategy?’.  We have been working closely with a couple of programmatic audio advertising platforms to develop an end to end solution to leverage the power of targeted audio advertising on smart speakers to push to curated, voice first, experiences.  

Comparison:

Web/Mobile best practice:

Targeted display ads to drive your customers to a microsite.  

Voice Campaign best practice

Targeted audio ads delivered to a smart speaker to  drive the customer to a crafted voice experience, 

For example:

“…People who are homeless are especially exposed to the coronavirus outbreak. But together we can get vital care and protection to them.  To find out how just say ‘Alexa, open support my street’”

The listener is then guided into a rich and informative, voice led, experience that allows them to find out how they can support the charity and leads to a donation using existing Amazon Pay or Google Pay credentials.       

Digital Audio Campaigns

  • Use digital audio advertising to target consumers on connected devices  
  • Engage users whilst listening to their favourite radio station, podcast or free music streaming app
  • UK monthly reach – 30 million unique listeners  
  • Access to hundreds of audience segments, target the relevant geo location, demographics, interests, context and device 
  • Brand experiences are 2-way and deliver up to 7 mins of engagement per session
  • CTA to voice commerce using existing payment methods (Amazon Pay / Google Pay) 
  • 100% brand safe 
  • Reporting metrics: Impressions, frequency, geo, day/time, unique devices, device type and listen through rate 

What Next?

Looking slightly further into the future it’s important to realise how transformative voice assistants will be to our daily lives.  Smart speakers are phase 1.  Most new cars will have access to your voice assistant allowing you to delegate tasks as you’re on the move and we’re only getting started with earbuds that bring your assistant everywhere you go.  Look how pervasive mobile has become over the last ten years.  Over the next ten, we’ll see trust and usage grow to develop immediate and frictionless engagements with the brands and services we love, we’re calling this decade ‘The Talking Twenties’, are you with us? 

This article was originally written for ‘The Future of Audio Report 2020’ by Mediatel. Read the entire report here. Our spread starts on page 30.


About Say it Now: Say It Now is an award winning developer of high-end voice assistant and chatbot solutions. Say It Now’s team has been building conversational AI experiences since 2016 with a focus on using natural language processing AI for commerce applications. Say It Now works with SMEs though to large customers to activate their conversational marketing channels. We are a London based agency and work with clients on a global basis.

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