Article

Kathryn Zwack
Kathryn Zwack 3 March 2017

Product Information By Voice

“Alexa, stop!” Let me introduce you to my new best friend. Yesterday, I had Alexa read me the news. The day before, she set a timer for 25 minutes so I wouldn’t burn the muffins. She plays my favourite music on demand and adjusts the volume to my liking. If she had arms, I would hug her—every day.

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But there is more to Alexa than meets the eye. Did you know that she is also the ultimate shopper? Yes, indeed!  Assuming that the items that you are seeking are either commodity—such as pet food or packaged goods—or easily described, such as a book or a song, Alexa can do your buying for you—at the sound of your voice.

Voice: Yet Another Sales Channel

As retailers and manufacturers, who are targeting consumers directly, strive to get the right offer to the right consumer at the right time, an additional channel can open up new opportunities, while also adding operational complexity. In the case of voice, the ability to utilize the technology and the channel effectively is key. And to do this, you need great search key words and concise product information.

Strategize for Voice Shopping

Since consumers who order products via Amazon Echo, Apple’s Siri, Google Voice, or other voice-activated apps are likely not looking at a mobile device or laptop at the same time, they are not seeing product images or reading descriptions and specifications. It is imperative that your product information is complete enough for the service to recognize what the consumer is trying to order.

Not only that, but also your product description needs to utilize the key words that a consumer would use. Chances are, a consumer will order a “blue phone case for a Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone” not an “aqua ombre glitter sparkles” phone case. Your product information needs to tell appealing product stories using common, everyday terms.

Because consumers will be able to review a shopping cart to ensure that their order is correct, your product information needs to be discrete and concise enough to select the needed product with a superior level of accuracy. Basic data, such as product titles, brands, and SKU numbers, need to be exact. In addition, your product information needs to be consistent across channels so that your consumer can view a product online and then be able to order the product later via voice with a high degree of confidence that the selection is the same product.

Getting Started

The advent of voice shopping can help retailers truly meet shoppers where they are, in those “micro-moments” when a product need crosses their minds. However, to make that great first impression and keep shoppers coming back to you through this channel, it is critical that you serve up the right content and product options. Keep this new channel in mind when you are crafting your product information. It might mean telling a simpler, more concise product story.

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