INTIMATE WITH ALEXA: The future of conversational commerce

February 9, 2018     Client Work   Industry News   Marketing   MAVERICK   News   Tech


This blog post is brought to you by Hailey MacKinnon, Account Executive, MAVERICK.

By now, you’ve seen Amazon’s Alexa Super Bowl commercial. It’s star-studded, funny, and adds just the right amount of salaciousness. Plus, we get a peek at Jeff Bezos’s acting skills.

And if you’re attentive, you’ve wondered why your own Alexa didn’t perk up when the ad aired.

But beyond Alexa’s voice itself, what Alexa is actually capable of has also been in the news. Namely, what commercial power she wields.

Capgemini recently released the Conversational Commerce report about the future of AI and commerce. It found that voice assistants will become a dominant mode of consumer action in three years and consumers will be voting with their wallets in favour of voice assistants over other channels.

Here’s some other interesting findings:

  • 40% of consumers polled said they would use a voice instead of a mobile app or website
  • 71% of consumers report being satisfied with their voice assistant
  • In three years, active users of voice assistants expect 18% of their total expenditure to take place via voice assistant, a six-fold increase from today, with shoppers who use the technology willing to spend 500% more than they currently do via this mode of interaction
  • 44% per cent of users have expressed interest in using voice assistants for banking transactions as more smart speakers enable functions such as credit card payments via voice

This report is interesting from both a brand and a consumer’s perspective:

For brands, it brings another consideration: What does your brand sound like? How does that voice make your consumers feel? Can that voice foster a new sense of intimacy to the consumer relationship? According the report, there is an “an unparalleled opportunity to develop relevancy, trust, and emotion-based connections with consumers.”

This intimacy can be merchandized and directly drive profit. Consider this: in an era when companies are desperately trying to engage consumers through points and programs, emotional engagement is actually the main driver of brand loyalty, another Capgemini Future of Loyalty Report found.

For consumers, does that intimacy with your AI machine mean you trust them more? And will therefore purchase and share more? The growing popularity of conversational commerce would indicate so.

The bottom line is that commerce via voice assistants — whether that’s shopping, banking, you name it — is the new dawn of commerce, a revolution just like e-commerce. Against this new backdrop, the real question is: will your brand be an early adapter?

Or better yet, how will it sound?

For more on Capgemini’s Conversational Commerce report, check out this TV clip from Global BC where consumer journalist Anne Drewa reports on Capgemini’s findings and their implications.

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