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1st Quarter, 2018

The $40B Voice Commerce Market and Midmarket Brands: How to Create Opportunity in an Exclusive Space.

Plus:
ArcherPoint Retail Team News & Promotions

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What to do about Voice.

Thank goodness for guinea pigs; In this burgeoning era of Voice Commerce, big ‘commodities’ brands in personal care, packaged goods, and ecommerce are testing the market for the rest of us. But it’s only a matter of time—voice-assisted shopping is coming to a midmarket theater near you. If you want good seats, you’ll need to get your Omnichannel on.

From your technology backbone to your people, processes, and data, being truly omnichannel is critical to competing in Voice and thus being recommended by voice-assisted shoppers. That’s over and above the deals you need to make with each and every device maker that comes along; Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Baidu, Alibaba need we go on?

Read on to learn where the opportunities are—but also where voice technology by default shrinks the playing field. It’s not what you think.

“But Alexa is Rigged!”
“Unlike in stores or online, where brands get plenty of exposure, voice-search assistants/smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa often steer shoppers to a single product, selected by an algorithm with no input from the sellers Customers that don’t specify a brand are offered a product affiliated with Amazon,” according to an article in the Wall Street Journal (login required).

(Amazon. Again?)
As always, we’re talking about Amazon first because, well, Amazon is always first, and because they own 70% of the smart speaker market. Right now they’re in 13% of homes using smart speakers; a digital-voice-assistant report by Juniper Research says this will “soar to 55% over the next four years.” That’s a lot of opportunity in a concentrated space.

Voice Purchases: from $2B now to $40B in just a few years!
Though voice-assisted search only accounts for a sliver of purchases today, in the next 5 years, some estimate that as much as 50% of searches will be done via voice. According to OC&C Strategy Consultants, purchases made through devices such as Google Home and Amazon’s Echo are projected to leap from $2 billion to $40 billion by 2022, as technology improves, US consumers become more comfortable, and the speakers become nearly as commonplace in homes as a flat-screen TV.

Opportunity #1: Do consumers trust smart speaker recommendations?
OC&C Strategy Consultants’ study discovered there are ‘trust’ issues with the devices, that “only 39% of consumers trust in the ‘personalized’ product selection of smart speakers” and “only 44% believe they offer the best value selection of products.” As expected for early adopters, the three most common shopping categories were grocery, entertainment, and electronics. Interestingly, clothing was fourth. The OC&C report provides a deeper look at what retailers need to know, and do, to be able to drive revenue with Voice. Request the report here.

Opportunity #2: Customers want to connect. ‘Train’ them to ask for you.
Google Insights found that people who own voice-activated speakers welcome brands as part of the experience. And they are open to receiving information that is helpful and relevant to their lifestyle. Google Insights says, “They’re eager to connect with businesses using their speakers, too. They want to find business information, call up customer service, and discover new brands using their devices. 72% of parents who own voice-activated speakers said they are likely to use them to buy something in the next month. That’s significantly higher than the 51% of non-parents who say the same thing. And once they start using them, they’re hooked.”

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More than a personal shopper; 41% say it’s a friend, an advocate.
As people go about their daily routines, they are testing the waters with buying things through their devices—and they like it because they feel they’re talking to a friend. Some of them even have suggestions for brands and weren’t shy about their expectations. “It should be able to predict what I’d want and help me execute it. Like, ‘Hey! It’s taco Tuesday, your basket is ready with all the ingredients,’” said one. “If I’m asking the device for concert tickets, that’s an opportunity for it to say ‘Ticketmaster has tickets,’” said another. But, Google advises: Brands, proceed with caution, keep it native to the experience of what Google calls a “new brand playground.”

A Plus for Google:

Kids in these families will grow up with these devices already part of their lives; they won’t remember a time B.G. (Before Google).


Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons. Part of baby boomers’ lives since 1962.

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But here’s how voice commerce could cut you out of search--
In the aforementioned Wall Street Journal article, Amazon says: “Amazon’s Choice is just our recommendation, and customers can always ask for specific brands or products if they choose.” Check.

But L2 Founder Scott Galloway warns: “Whoever controls voice is going to control a quarter of all computing—and that computing’s going to be more valuable because consumers won’t have a screen to check out the other options.” (Our italics.) It’s not deliberate—it’s inherent in the ‘design’ of voice technology.

The jury’s still out on Voice-only.
Many consumers are showing a preference for touchscreen, whether they have touchscreen devices or not. And, these devices will probably start carrying relevant PPC ads because many consumers are open to that. The thing is—all these disruptions lead to the same situation, and the same conclusion. And that is...

The moral of the story: What a truly omnichannel brand does well.
If you ‘own’ the voice-assisted device, do you ‘own’ the market? Not if someone else’s brand is top of mind with your shared customers. Don’t silo your voice strategies—merge them with your search, marketing, digital, and overall customer experience. This is what a truly omnichannel brand does well.

With great omnichannel as the backbone of your operations, you can ‘train’ the customer to ‘train’ the voice. You can level the playing ground when it comes to Voice – but getting there takes a smart combination of technology, people, automation, data, and marketing. There’s always a catch.

L’Oreal SA Chief Digital Officer said it best,
The guy who will win is the guy who will have iconic brands and products.

 

We agree, but we say it like this for midmarket brands:
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Let your retail technology do the heavy lifting so you can focus on being #1 to your customers. If you become a truly omnichannel brand delivering the best customer experience that you can, you’re near enough to iconic among your own A-listers. They’ll be calling your name when it counts.

Warmly,

Tina Terrezza

Director of Sales and Marketing

In ArcherPoint Retail Business News:

Below, you’ll find our revised Support Contact info, and a way to save & get started with NAV/LS Nav.
The Retail group is growing!

Welcome to our new team members! 

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Jodi Hiebert
Implementation Consultant

We welcome Jodi to our growing team. Jodi speaks native Microsoft Dynamics NAV, with more than 20 years’ experience in a variety of roles. She’s got a long-standing financial background along with operational business knowledge and experience (including extensive training and certifications) to provide our clients with the proper financial system set-ups, recommend best practices, and to deliver effective user training with NAV, LS Retail, Serenic, and Chargelogic.

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Taiwei Li
Retail Support Lead

Say “Welcome” to Taiwei, our ‘First Responder.’ He enjoys working with customers to uncover solutions and takes pride in delighting our customers by guiding them to the right resources. He has strong knowledge in development, NAV structure, and infrastructure design. Taiwei is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, with a major in Management of Information Systems and a minor in Computer Science.

Our support contact information has changed – download the revised and updated PDF.

LS Retail Promotion Through June 1, 2018

 

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Until June 1, 2018, LS Retail is offering new customers in the U.S. and Canada a promotion in which you can license the NAV Starter Pack (which includes 3 Full Concurrent Client Access Licenses [CALs], two [2] additional Full Concurrent CALs, and the LS Nav Starter Pack, as well as 1 Store Pack unit (which includes 1 Retail Device CAL) at a 12% discount. Add additional Store Packs and Retail Devices in the same order at a 10% discount!

Contact us for details.

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