How Voice Technology Is Reshaping the Retail Experience For Consumers And Merchants

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Two elements that have fueled the recent explosive growth of e-commerce are convenience and accessibility. When the pandemic hit, it also sparked an almost immediate surge in the use of voice assistants, particularly in sectors where customers avoided touching surfaces, paying cash and engaging with others to complete transactions.


The pandemic accelerated the adoption of voice technology globally, but it was increasing well before COVID-19. The most prominent example is the use of Siri or Alexa to shop, listen to music, find recipes, and more. Today, voice technology has gone beyond playing music or checking the weather and has penetrated industries. Retailers are now inspired to include adaptive contactless payment options, such as voice payment technologies, in their business practices, in part due to consumer expectations of contactless payment methods due to health and safety concerns.

The rise of voice commerce

Capgemini surveyed 4,800 consumers and more than 950 executives from 12 major economies, including China, India, the US, the UK, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Brazil. He found that 77 percent of consumers expect to use contactless technologies more often to avoid interactions that require physical contact, and 62 percent expect to do so even after the pandemic. Such figures demonstrate that this trend is bound to increase with apparent longevity.

By the end of 2022, there will be 168 million voice commerce users in India, compared to 83 million users using voice search options to shop. It also has the potential to attract consumers who are not digitally savvy, who have turned away from UPI or commerce apps, etc., due to a lack of digital literacy. Specifically in India, it will allow users to communicate to interact with the technology in their preferred language.

The ‘what’s next’ of the consumer experience

The ultimate goal of voice technology is to provide consumers with seamless, hands-free interaction for faster checkout. This mechanism is in line with the changing expectations of consumers. In the past, customers evaluated their restaurant experiences primarily based on the human element, including excellent food quality, friendly service, and unhurried, personalized encounters. These days, the key to customer happiness for all fast food restaurants and chains is safety and the ability to order, pick up and pay for food with little personal involvement.

Another significant advantage of voice technology is the greater scope of financial inclusion. For the urban population, these solutions are shaping new customer experiences. Similarly, for the rural population, it generates complete access. As these solutions support all languages ​​and do not require ‘typed’ input from consumers, they will enable customers in all departments to adopt a variety of digital transactions. Even merchants can enable contactless and cardless payments on existing infrastructure with a software upgrade. It turns out to be a highly cost-effective and easy-to-deploy solution without additional hardware changes or infrastructure investments.

Voice-to-car movement

The voice assistant revolution, spearheaded by Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, gave rise to voice-based payments. This transition was expected. Accordingly, retailers must develop a next-level customer experience as more people use their mobile devices for virtually all transactional purposes. The change is quite evident in the payments industry. We are changing the way we shop thanks to voice technologies. Customers can enable the voice payment system and select the voice payment option in the brand’s online store through voice commerce and voice payments.

Customers select the products, place the order by voice and make the payment as a cashier. This scenario is expected to increase as it becomes more prevalent in the coming years. Voice payments are becoming more and more common, which is a testament to the ‘connected 24/7’ way of life. Provide customers with services that are fast and easy to use in today’s fast-paced world. At the same time, brands benefit as they now have access to previously inaccessible personal information and consumer behavior trends. It’s impossible to discount the appeal of a convenient, hands-free, frictionless payment mechanism. Voice payments could be the revolution that drives customer experience/satisfaction and revenue, both at the same time.

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