The latest trend observed in searching for information is the ‘voice search’. With the diminishing patience of people, newer ways to get quicker results are being sought after. The voice search helps in finding information on the internet much easier while reducing the time and effort in doing the same. The voice search technology is undergoing exponential growth every year. This promising future of this advanced technology is causing major brands like Amazon and Google to leverage it.

Explaining The Voice Technology

The voice search technology allows users to search the internet using just spoken words (voice). There is no more need for typing out the queries. One can just voice out their questions to their smartphones, computers and other smart devices to trigger an action — a digital assistant will answer the query. This voice technology is not limited to just browsing the web and getting queries answered. Other domains like playlist management, placing a call, calendar management, email management, shopping and more are being served by this technology, with this list only growing by the day. Today, some of the popular and effective voice-based systems that answer questions are the Google Voice Search, Siri, Cortana and Amazon Echo. These are basically dialogue-based systems, making them quite interactive.

Below is a list of the top devices and software that allow voice-based search:

  • iPhone – Siri
  • Amazon Echo – Alexa
  • Smart devices like laptops and smartphones that have Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana
  • Google Home

Voicing Out In The Future

In the constantly evolving digital sphere, the progressive changes in user demands are the main drivers of this shift toward voice-based technology. In a quest for optimizing the efficiency, speed and user convenience, the voice technology evolved creating a new trend. The millennial consumers are demonstrating greater comfort with using this technology. The increased adoption of smart devices based on IoT is another major factor that is fuelling the demand for voice technology. Smart IoT-based devices such as speakers, thermostats, remotes and appliances are paving the way for voice technology in the consumers’ lives. The usage of this technology might not be restricted to just basic home and office needs. Experts predict that most applications will be integrated with voice technology in the coming years, making it a fundamental of the modern-day.

For the year 2020 and beyond, let’s have an overview of the major elements that this technology might leave a mark in:

Search Behaviour

Voice search is something that is already in use, especially by the millennial crowd. It is predicted that the search behaviour will take a long leap forward by dominantly using the voice search. Juniper Research predicts that ad revenues generated by employing voice tech will reach nearly $19 billion by the year 2022 and that this will be driven by the increased establishment and usage of voice search apps on smartphones. There is now a shift from touchpoint to listening points, making organic search extremely critical for brands. Data from Comscore show that by 2020, 50% of web search will be via employing voice tech. With the advancement in voice tech, marketing and advertising agencies will also shift to the new platforms and align their marketing strategies that will include different formats of paid messages to their strategy.

Voice Push Notifications

Push notifications focus on re-engaging customers with apps. These notifications are generally user-centric, aiming at customer retention. Voice technology will change the means of distributing these notifications. As an example, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant now allow consumers to hear rather than read the notifications from any compatible third-party apps. These notifications could be calendar appointments and reminders.

Device Integration

Integrating voice technology to multiple smart devices allow manufacturers to create custom voice-assisted products that will continue to carry out the innate functions. The foremost examples are the integration of Amazon’s Alexa to a wide range of products like Samsung’s Family Hub fridges and Alexa-enabled wall clock. The usage of such voice-assisted devices is set to grow exponentially in the year 2020. These devices could include mid-level devices that do not have full-blown smart speakers but rather function via Bluetooth connectivity to other smart devices like smartphones where any processing would take place.

The Helping Voice For Your Business

As the voice technology proceeds towards becoming a necessity in tomorrow’s business-scape, here are strong reasons why you should embrace it:

Voice-optimized SEO to drive website traffic

SEO depends on the search terms users type in their web browser, but with the voice technology replacing the habit of typing, a fundamental change in SEO practices is something that one cannot ignore anymore. Voice-optimized SEO successfully established for your website will mean, tomorrow when users search online for information using the voice search, your website will appear higher in search results. This increased traffic to your website will reflect in the growth of your business.

To stay a step ahead of your competitors

Charting out a strong voice-based marketing strategy is not only essential to allow your customers to find you, but it is also required to ensure that your prospective customers do not find your competition instead. There is a high possibility that when a voice-friendly user searches for a product or service offered by you, he or she can be directed right to your voice-optimized competitors. To have a leg up in the competition, adopting voice technology is the path to take.

To nurture loyalty amongst customers

Employing voice technology is not just required for staying ahead in the competition — it can also help you offer excellent customer experience. The voice recognition skill can be used generate more personalized content and responses, enabling a more natural interaction with your brand for each individual. With the speed of voice search results, a customer can experience instant gratification in today’s busy life. This personalization combined with high speed encourages customer loyalty and retention.

Let’s Talk Stats

The numbers below show that voice technology is here to stay!

  • The global market for smart speakers reached a tremendous 20.7 million units being sold in Q1, 2019, which accounted for the triple-digit 131% growth in that quarter.
  • Alpine.AI’s 2018 stats revealed that as of January, the number of voice searches averaged 1 billion per month and this number has only been growing since then.
  • Global Web Index studies show that 34% of people who do not yet own a voice-assisted device are interested to purchase one.
  • Sourced from BrightLocal, it is shown that 76% of those who use smart speakers perform weekly voice searches.
  • Another information sourced from BrightLocal shows that 51% of users use voice search to get information on restaurants.
  • PwC’s report states that 93% of users are highly satisfied with their voice assistants.
  • By 2022, voice-assisted consumer spending is expected to increase to 18% as per Martech.
  • Gartner data reveals that 30% of internet browsing will be screenless by the year 2020.
  • Comscore experts predict that 50% of internet searches will be via voice search by the year 2020.

From starting out as a novelty feature to becoming a modern-day trend, the voice technology is witnessing tremendous growth with the capabilities of becoming fundamental in the near future.

The Required Tuning

Though the voice technology has become a popularised one, there are still certain problems that need to be addressed for the optimal usage of this technology.

Of these issues is the challenge of visibility during voice search. The visual interface has been a neglected element when developing voice assistants. Consumers will not be able to see the voice interface unless connected to the app for Google Assistant or Alexa.

Another issue currently faced by the consumers is phrasing used in searches. The UX that is employed relies on specific phrases that trigger specific results. People expect conversational functionality from smart speakers without being replied to with “I’m sorry, I do not understand the question.”

Trust and privacy are other major concerns when it comes to using the voice tech. On a day-to-day basis consumers can research a place, shop, book cabs and make voice payments using this advance technology, but the concerns regarding sensitive information being secure are well-founded. Keeping customer sentiments in mind, security should be a major focus as the voice tech is being improved to suit the evolving consumer demands.

There is no doubt that voice search will be a milestone in the technology space, but the issues currently faced have to be resolved to reach the prime. By keeping an eye out for growth in voice tech, brands can keep themselves abreast of the market by adapting to it at the right time and exercising the appropriate marketing strategies. Here at Digital X, we help companies and brands stay informed about the technology trends so that they can make informed decisions without any delay.

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