Consumers are now inherently not getting the same experience when shopping.
Whether that’s due to their personal anxiety’s about going out during this pandemic, or the constant reminder that there’s a safety risk with antibacterial gels at entrances, and Perspex barriers between you and the cashier. Your efforts may help customers feel safe in your store, but do they feel satisfied? Are they getting the same experience if there was no pandemic?
What is Voice-Activated Technology?
When we think of voice-activated technology we immediately think of Alexa, or Google Home, those little devices that live in our homes but don’t move; but our mobile phones (Apple’s Siri), and even laptops (Microsoft’s Cortana), have Voice-Activated technology integrated into them as well.
Beyond this there is also an emerging “commuter commerce”. More than half of drivers engage with their cars built-in voice assistants whilst driving; 47.2% of those are interested in getting directions to the nearest petrol station.
How has it grown?
22% of households now own a voice assistant, with a massive 41% planning to own one in the next 5 years. With its popularity and ease of use, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t know how to use Alexa, or Google home.
With this in mind, and following a post-covid world where customers will be nervous of touching screens and surfaces which many people will have touched, it’s the perfect time to consider how voice-activated technology could help you connect to your customers, whilst also keeping them safe.
How can voice-activated technology improve a customer’s experience?
There are multiple ways voice-activated technology can be used in place of a traditional touch-screen devices. Below are three examples to help inspire you on how you can evolve your customer’s experience to be both safe and satisfying!
Voice-Activated Product Selector
Rather than a traditional tablet-based product selector which requires the user to touch a screen, voice-activated technology can be used to provide a non-contact experience. The device is activated with a command, and then it runs through a series of questions for the customer to answer; for example, questions for a Whiskey could be: “Are you looking for something peaty, or smooth and sweet?”.
In this way it’s familiar to the customer, as it follows the experience of a traditional product selector app; however it requires the user to use their voice, rather than their hand, offering a brand new and exciting experience. Based on the user’s answers, the algorithm in the background begins to create a profile of the customer, to eventually inform them of their perfect product.
This process can be further elevated by having the final choice brought to the user on a conveyor belt, or highlighted on the shelf, rather than just a picture on a screen.
Branded Skill Takeaways
Allow the customer to take their experience home with them, rather than asking them to do it in store where they may feel uncomfortable. NFC or QR codes can be implemented into POS which directs the user to an Amazon store page where the skill is displayed. If they have the Alexa app on their phone, it can be downloaded immediately and be ready to use by the time they get home. This helps keep the brand at the front of mind even after the customer has left the store.
The app can provide more information about the product they’ve purchased, recipes which prominently feature the product (such as the Stubb’s example below), or entertainment which marries perfectly with the brand.
This experience can be elevated by providing inserts with their purchased product which provides more information on the Alexa skill, as well as a direct link to download it.
At-Home Voice-Activated Product Tasting Experience
In-person product tasting experiences are unlikely to return this year, so it’s important for brands to find an alternative to keep their customers engaged. Voice-activated technologies are one way product tasting experiences can still be enjoyed by customers whilst keeping everyone safe.
Customers can sign up to an at-home product tasting experience and receive through the post everything they need to host their own event; including products, accessories, and an insert explaining how to download the app. The voice-activated skill will guide the experience at the user’s own pace, providing information to the customer about the product they’re consuming as well as fun activities to really elevate their at-home experience.
The benefit of using voice-activated technology for this rather than a video, is that the user can interrupt at any point to ask a question. The user could also keep a digital tally of their favourite drinks, encouraging them to purchase their favourite once the event is over.
This experience could be elevated by allowing the customer to order a larger bottle of their favourite product through the app, with a discount for having ordered the product through the tasting experience.
Let’s talk about how voice activated technology can help you reach your customers.