As you may have noticed, one of the hottest technologies of late is voice search. Its growth is mainly due to the voice assistants that come with smartphones or smart speakers. These are becoming increasingly popular with consumers due to their functionality and accuracy. By simply giving them commands or asking them questions, they can perform the requested tasks or services using voice recognition software.
The different types of voice assistants
If we consider that 40.2% of American adults use a voice-activated assistant, we realize the importance and potential of this market. In France, there are about 20 million voice assistant users, including 3.2 million via connected speakers.
For this reason, many companies are investing in research and development in this area. Today, there are more than 4.2 billion digital voice assistants in use worldwide.
However, different types of voice assistants can be distinguished:
- Those integrated in connected devices such as speakers: Amazon Echo (Alexa), Google Home (Google assistant)...
- In phone operating systems: IOS (Siri), Android (Google Assistant), Samsung (Bixby), Windows phone (Cortana)
- In messaging platforms: WeChat secretary on WeChat
- Or in household appliances or cars: MBUX at Mercedes.
This market is nevertheless dominated by some big names: Apple with Siri, Google with Google assistant and Amazon with Alexa.
What to use at home and at work
These tools can be used in a variety of ways, both personally and professionally.
For voice assistants on phones, they can be used to search or buy an item online, send messages or make calls, locate electronic devices, or provide local or weather information.
Connected speakers can perform the same missions but can also be useful for home automation. They can manage the temperature, the light, the shutters or even the closing of the doors if all these elements are connected on the same network. The voice assistants act as a real home valet for the user.
In the professional sphere, this technology can have many interests. The voice assistant can replace many secretarial tasks (making appointments, booking rooms, defining an itinerary...) or customer relationship follow-up by replacing chatbots or after-sales services.
Future prospects for voice assistants
The potential of voice assistants is enormous and many future uses are possible!
For example, one can imagine an algorithm that includes the consumer's favourite references thanks to their history. The voice assistant could then help the consumer during the search thanks to previous experiences.
Combined with CRM (customer relationship management), they could optimize prospecting by providing lists of customers to follow up and the type of service to offer in order to increase sales or to follow up customers.
Already well developed in the United States, voice commerce will represent more than 40 billion dollars in sales by 2022. Consumers will eventually be able to use voice commands at all stages of the purchasing process (adding items to the shopping cart, defining delivery, subscribing to insurance, etc.)
Finally, voice payment, which is not widely used at the moment, could be democratized, making even greater use of connected speakers. When paying, the customer's smartphone will ring and he will have to say a sentence: "I validate the order" for example. This will be compared with a pre-recorded phrase to identify the customer. If the voice matches, the customer will receive a code to enter on the site.
How brands are using voice assistants and some concrete examples
Conversational commerce allows consumers to interact with brands without intermediaries, in order to get an immediate answer to their problem. This is a significant opportunity for brands to develop valuable personal relationships with their customers.
In addition, the voices used by voice assistants are becoming more and more like human voices. This makes users more inclined to give them emotions and thus establish an intimate bond.
How are these big brands using voice assistants?
Domino's Pizza: During the Super Bowl in 2016, the American brand released its voice app on Alexa. Within two months, nearly 1 in 5 American customers were ordering their pizzas using voice. Its competitor Pizza Hut therefore quickly imitated it.
Mercedes: The MBUX system gives the driver control of various vehicle functions by voice. Window control, internal cabin temperature, lighting and of course phone calls and text messaging. But also local business information or stock market information.
Bank of America: bank of America has created their own voice assistant; Erica, available via their mobile app. Between its inception in 2018 and 2019, Erica has responded to over 50 million customer inquiries and communicated with over 500,000 new users per month from all generations beyond 7 years old. In addition, Erica is constantly evolving through the continued expansion of conversational exchanges and is increasing its financial knowledge.
How can I get better referencing in a voice search?
The progress of voice searches has a huge impact on referencing. Sites must therefore evolve in order to be competitive in this type of search.
Use the right keywords Voice search: during a voice search, the user will use a so-called "conversational" language. This means that they will engage in a dialogue with the speaker or smartphone and often adopt a questioning tone. As a result, it is necessary to favour content that best answers these questions, to favour longer queries and to adopt a natural, conversational tone.
Create a FAQ page: A FAQ page allows search engines to better understand your website. By offering concise and clear answers to the different questions asked by Internet users and by making the content more specific and precise, the SEO for voice searches will be improved.
Optimize the site for smartphones: In 2021, about 5.3 billion people owned a smartphone worldwide, representing 67% of the population. Europe being the first region with 86% of the population owning one. More than half of all web pages are visited on a cell phone and according to Comscore, more than half of all smartphone owners use voice search daily. A large proportion of searches are done on cell phones, which is why it is important to have a site optimized for these tools.
Optimize local referencing: Many searches are local in nature. It is therefore important to have a Google My Business listing with the geolocation and important information about the company, in order to be highlighted in a search concerning the field of activity concerned.
A growing market
Voice assistants are therefore particularly promising. They allow many different uses and simplify tasks in many areas. Their practicality in home automation is particularly interesting and allows you to control your home by voice. On the Internet, their place is more and more important, which should not escape the brands, in order to adapt their digital practices to these new tools.
In any case, voice assistants are making their presence felt, and this is not about to stop!