2020: The era of voice-activated shopping


The rise of voice search and its impact on retail


Alexa, Cortana, Siri are now three of the most recognised names in the world. Like The Queen, Lulu or Elvis, they need no surname to differentiate them. That’s how famous they are; despite not being real people! Despite teething pains in early models their adoption by households has been incredibly fast and statistics show that by 2020 over half of all search will be executed via voice. This is unsurprising given that already ten percent of people use voice search at least once a day.

Given Amazon’s retail heritage Alexa has become a shopping machine. You can order pizza from Dominos, request coffee from Starbucks, or buy books from Prime, all just by asking Alexa to do it for you.

But what does this mean for brands, and more specifically for the data strategy?

Quite a lot. It will be crucial moving forwards that retailers understand where purchases have come from. For instance have they been made by Alexa, Siri or Cortana or has a customer come through and made a purchase ‘traditionally’ on the website, app or via social channels? The omnichannel experience gets a whole lot more complicated with AI Assistants in the mix. Data Management Systems need to be updated in order to capture this information as it will be vital for future segmentation and promotional decisions. Moreover, if a retailer’s data does not incorporate the share of search or purchases coming through voice it will be impossible to optimise the front end delivery system that will pull customer towards the brand. With only two years to go until voice takes precedence over typing, now is the time to get ahead of the curve and be prepared for yet another seismic shift in shopping.

If you want to know and understand more about the way data is changing the world you live in, or would like to know how data can add value to your business, please email me at david.gurney@alchemetrics.co.uk


Dave Gurney

CEO, Alchemetrics - Expert in Data & Digital Marketing
enabling senior marketers to value from engaging customers online.