Welcome to part five of a five-part series, where we dive into the art of doing business in a connected world. We’ll be sharing customer insights into voice and connected commerce, based on a 25-minute double-blind online survey that Amazon Pay conducted in April, 2019, among 10,297 consumers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India. To download an ebook that shares all of our findings, click here.  

Consumer are signaling an embrace of multichannel experiences, and it’s time that business caught up. In the next three years, 42% of consumers are likely to be involved in a shopping journey that spans multiples channels – and 39% are currently comfortable starting their journey in one channel and ending it in another. To facilitate these cross channel experiences, businesses need to start incorporating voice as an integral part of their overall commerce strategy.

Among those consumers who will use multiple channels for shopping, one in five state that they will start a journey using voice and end it either online or at a physical store. About half will recommend a brand if it offers a seamless cross-channel experience, and one fourth are willing to share their personal information if a brand uses it to offer a continuous experience across channels. How can you prepare your business for these connected consumers?

Trust is a necessity, not an option

With the recent spotlight on privacy, data security, and trust, it’s important that businesses don’t lose sight of these critical attributes in the pursuit of improving the consumer experience across channels. It’s not trust or convenience; it is trust and convenience.

Trust is the most important attribute when consumers shop in any channel – 85% rate it as somewhat or very important.

The security of customers’ personal information is also paramount. The greatest measure a company can take to boost their customers’ confidence is to guarantee that it won’t share personal information without permission. Other important measures include seeking consent to use consumer information, having a strong privacy policy, being transparent about how consumer information is used, and permitting consumers to choose the information that is captured or shared. In other words, the cost of not safeguarding consumer information is too high to skimp on data security. Eight out of 10 consumers will switch from a brand if they don’t trust it to keep their data secure, while 66% will purchase more from the same brand if it keeps their personal information safe.

A leading factor linked to an increase in consumer trust is if a website offers well-known digital wallets as payment options. Other features that contribute to consumer trust include the overall quality of the website and customer reviews or business ratings.

There’s a perception that digital payment services are another indicator of a website’s trustworthiness – an opinion that’s validated by the growing number of potential consumers across channels. Sixty-three percent indicate they’re likely to use digital payment services for online purchases in the next three years, while 47% are likely to do so at a physical store. When it comes to voice shopping, 40% are more comfortable using digital payment services over credit cards.

As businesses prepare to offer a connected commerce experience to their consumers, it’s essential that they take adequate steps to maintain and build trust across all channels. By offering a simple, seamless checkout through trusted third-party payment solutions, such as Amazon Pay with Alexa, merchants can appeal to the connected consumer, circumventing the trust gap that comes with less familiar websites.

Connect with your customers

Consumers today are disappointed by most cross-channel experiences, with just over half of them saying they’re currently satisfied with the ability of brands to deliver them. The failure to deliver on continuous cross-channel experiences, including voice, can negatively impact a customer experience. Seven in 10 consumers will switch from a seller if it doesn’t offer a good customer experience. Fifty-nine percent will not only switch but also be vocal about it, sharing their unpleasant experience with friends and family.

Businesses owe it to their customers to provide an effortless commerce experience – recognizing them across channels and helping them continue on their shopping journeys no matter where they left off. The only way to do this is to stop thinking about voice as an isolated channel and start considering it as an integral part of a business’s commerce strategy.

Alexa skills can be as simple as “Check the status of my web order,” using features like Alexa Delivery notifications, or “Add something to my wish list,” allowing consumers to purchase items later on their phone or the web. From those simple beginnings, businesses can build other complex cross-channel experiences by incorporating voice.

To access the full results of Amazon Pay’s survey and read more insights into the future of connected commerce, click here.

 

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