Welcome to part one of a five-part series of posts where we’re going to dive into the art of doing business in a connected world. We’ll be sharing customer insights on 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 US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India. To download an ebook that shares all of our findings, click here.  

Connectivity has become more pervasive and diversified than ever before, thanks to the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices, as well as the rapid adoption of voice services, smart devices, and virtual and augmented reality. This increased connectivity is changing the shopping habits of a new generation of consumers, now accustomed to buying items instantly, with a swipe, click, or a voice command.

The days have long passed when product purchases involved extensive planning, research, and visits to multiple stores. In addition to retail stores, today’s consumers have a plethora of channels to discover, research, and buy, including ecommerce (online), m-commerce (mobile), and now, voice commerce. Literally, it seems like they can buy whatever they want, whenever, wherever, and however they want.

The voices are getting louder

We believe cloud-based voice services represent the next era of commerce after physical stores, ecommerce, and m-commerce. Interestingly, this next-generation commerce channel also takes consumers back to a simpler time, when all they had to do was ask for the products and services they needed. No typing or swiping, just good old-fashioned conversation, with one significant difference – consumers are talking to a voice service that is becoming smarter by the day.

Consumers find the experience to be simple yet novel, with 44% indicating that they are likely to use voice services in at least some part of their shopping journey in the next three years. This adoption rate, for a still nascent technology, proves that businesses should not just consider voice but embrace it to address the next level of consumer expectation.

A new chapter for connected consumers

While great products and services go a long way towards acquiring and retaining consumers, they do not go all the way. Equally important is the access to those great products and services. With the advent of voice in the current decade, we have opened a new chapter in enabling consumers to access products and services.

With voice being integrated into smart speakers, mobile phones, smart devices, cars, wearables, and more, we have truly arrived in an era where device dependency is irrelevant. Consumer expectations have skyrocketed to a point where shoppers have been primed to expect changes to the way they shop every few years. Voice is one such change.

Businesses, no matter the industry, must prepare for this next level of consumer expectation. Just as they had to develop a web strategy in the 90’s and a mobile strategy in ‘00s, businesses are going to need a voice strategy.

If businesses take a wait-and-watch approach to voice, they will disappoint consumers. If they move too fast, they might compromise on security. They need to strike a fine balance in executing a voice strategy that is also a core part of their overall commerce roadmap. However, to do that, they first need to recognize that voice is a strong long-term opportunity. Not because we say so but because consumers have expressed just that.

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