Conversational commerce: industry reaction

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The publication of Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute report about conversational commerce has generated industry discussion about the role of voice assistants in ecommerce.

Retail and marketing media have covered the news (see articles in Internet Retailing and MarCommNews) and John Gillan, MD, UK and Northern Europe at Criteo, a commerce marketing company, has shared his thoughts on report findings:

 Rise of voice-enabled devices

 “The findings of Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute report should come as welcome news to retailers. With the rise of Apple’s Siri, Google’s Home or Amazon’s Alexa, marketers are particularly well positioned to observe how shoppers are interacting with these services and use the data gathered to develop speech recognition and sentiment analysis – things which will help them build up an even better picture of their shoppers and improve the personalisation of their services and communications.

 “The interactive dynamic between shoppers and voice assistants changes how the rich data on shopper interests and preferences can benefit consumers as they become more accepting of tailored recommendations from their own personal assistant. With Capgemini’s report pointing to increasing adoption of these platforms in the next three years, shoppers should look forward to an increasingly customised service.

“Retailers that have a thorough understanding of this data and can use it to provide contextual offers and relevant services stand to benefit from this new way of shopping.

Impact on cross device

“But while the findings point to an increasingly voice-enabled future, the challenge for retailers will be a familiar one. Namely, joining up the journey of customers who browse across multiple devices including mobiles, desktops, tablets as well as personal assistants before making a purchase.

“Shoppers expect brand interaction that’s individually tailored to them rather than to the device they happen to be using, regardless of where they ultimately choose to purchase on. This won’t change with voice searching and shopping reaching maturity. With shoppers more likely to buy on the most convenient device at the moment of purchase, it’s critical that retail marketers tailor each experience with a true understanding of their customer’s shopping journey and preferences cross-device.

“Linking up this journey has always been important and shoppers will expect a seamless experience even with another way of shopping added to the mix. Some 46% of UK shoppers say they receive an inconsistent shopping experience from retailers when shopping across multiple channels according to our own research with IMRG and the increasing usage of voice-powered devices will only increase the need to join up data sets and deliver a consistently exceptional shopping experience.”

Read the full “Conversational Commerce: why consumers are embracing voice assistants in their lives” report.

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