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Integration & IT Modernization

Developing the Voice-Activated Customer Experience

I remember back in 2012 when Apple first launched Siri on its iPhones as a new and innovative way to engage and offer customers a practical way to use their smartphones. As an iPhone user myself, having the feature was exciting because it meant being able to call friends, perform searches, and set alarms without having to push a button.

In the years since voice search has become even more popular with its availability on Android phones too. Google found in 2014 that 55% teenagers use voice-activated search on their smartphones compared to 41% of adults. For shoppers in general, there is the Amazon Echo, a voice-enabled device that not only performs searches, but also purchases products. Estimations of sales for the Echo are projected to hit at least $10 million next year, with even higher expectations for the years ahead of that.

It’s only natural to see where this is going. As the younger generation grows up and acquires disposable income, so will their penchant for leveraging voice-activated search to buy goods from their favorite websites. As your organization aspires to keep up, what does this mean for how you do business?

Voices of the Future

We imagine the future of commerce and customer experience will take on a few qualities:

  • Keyword Evolution: Voice searches traditionally differ from text searches in that they are longer in length. Voice searches are also longer as far as sentence length, though this has been found to be true in older users. For your organization developing upon this new customer experience, look to add more natural phrasing for long-tail searches and examine your web copy and overall content activities to make sure they are aligned.
  • The Arrival of Messaging Bots: We have written about the arrival of messaging bots in the past and believe that they have a place in voice search as well. As websites can be difficult to navigate, implementing a messaging bot that speaks back to an end-user is a nice touch for what could be an otherwise frustrating customer experience. Ensure here that the bot you develop can identify keywords from customers.
  • Facilitating the Buyer’s Journey: Whether consumer or business, voice-activated technologies will play a part in defining a greater piece of the buyer’s journey. Since customers are likely to conduct their own research beforehand given the breadth and depth of information available on the web, voice-activated technologies will play a role by asking the right questions, offering advice, and connecting the buyer to a live human being if necessary. Not only does this keep the brand top of mind, but it also provides a unique and memorable buying experience.

What Do You Think?

As your organization moves ahead, what do you think voice-activated search will play in your strategy? Come learn more at this year’s Liferay North America Symposium Conference in Chicago. We’ll also be giving away an Amazon Alexa, so enter to win and explore the voice-activated world for yourself.

Learn more about our Liferay practice here.

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