Why are all the top e-commerce apps in India adding Voice Assistants?

How are top brands using Voice Commerce to break the digital barriers for the Next Billion Users.

Voice Commerce is here and is making its way in India faster than ever. Here are top e-commerce brands which have already added in-app voice assistants to their apps - Amazon, Flipkart, Big Basket, Udaan and JioMart.

Leading brands have already integrated an in-app voice assistant.

We also wrote an ebook comparing the in-app voice assistants added by these brands. Download it from here to gain in-depth insights on the implementation of these in-app voice assistants and their features.

Why are they thinking of Voice Commerce?

Expansion is the name of the game!

These e-commerce giants see voice commerce as the key pillar for their expansion in Tier 2 and 3 cities. Voice technology has finally caught up and can now understand Indian dialects and language reasonably well. 

According to the 2020 Unicommerce report, 67% of all orders during the festive sales in 2020 came from Tier 2 cities and beyond. This market is commonly referred to as Bharat and whose internet users collectively are known as the Next Billion Users. With adoption growing at such a fast pace, it’s no wonder that top e-commerce brands are already rushing to create a stronghold in these markets. 

What problems will Voice Commerce solve?

The voice commerce strategy for India should only revolve around smartphones. All top e-commerce brands understand this and are adding in-app voice assistants instead of focusing on smart devices.

Smart Speakers use case by Voicebot.ai
Smart Speakers use case by Voicebot.ai

The hype of smart devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home being the epicentre for voice commerce in future is just noise from the west. According to a report by voicebot.ai, the primary uses of these smart devices have been mainly for entertainment purposes in contrast to a low number of users for purchases.

Only 25% of the surveyed respondents had ever tried making a purchase. Less than 5% use it daily. For music streaming, over 88% have used a Smart Speaker once and around 40% use it daily.

Day to Dad Activities:

Is helping out your dad order online a part of your day to dad activity? Mine is. This digital chasm is not just the case for my parents but for the Next Billion Users. I stand by “In God we trust, others must show data.

According to a report by PwC, younger consumers are driving adoption but not necessarily heavy usage. 25-49-year olds are using voice technology most often and are statistically more likely to be considered “heavy” users.

In-app Voice Assistants can solve these challenges. Navigating the complex app UI via voice is natural and much easier.

Search is broken:

Search is still a big unsolved problem. Spelling errors, difficulty in searching for items in vernacular languages, transliteration errors, and poor search suggestions are ̉just some of them.

Voice powered search, if done right, can alleviate these challenges. Especially when clubbed with the ability to allow users to search in their own language and allowing more natural searches.

Different is great!

Bharat Bhasha stack

Unlike Tier 1 users who are spoilt for choice, the Next Billion Users are different. They will stick to brands that can cultivate trust, not the ones providing them with the lowest price.

If your business can understand this difference in user behaviour and user expectations, then you could capture the next 400-500M users.

What does it mean for your brand? 

We think all the e-commerce brands need to start experimenting with in-app voice assistants. 

If brands don’t want to commit to adding a full-fledged voice assistant with all the bells and whistles like Voice Search, Navigation and Voice Actions, they should at least start by adding smart multilingual voice search for their e-commerce store.

According to Google, 28% of all searches across Google apps are now happening with Voice. Not only that, Voice Searches are growing at 270% YOY, and Hindi Voice Searches are growing at 400%. 

Last year, during the festive sales, the Amazon shopping app had over ~100,000 voice interactions. It also received over 1 million voice requests on the app in a day. 

Bigger e-commerce brands have the advantage of scale, expertise, and $ to add these in-app voice assistants and run experiments. But now, there are voice commerce platforms like Slang CONVA by Slang Labs, which lets e-commerce brands quickly integrate a full-fledged voice assistant into their apps. With Slang Voice Assistants, brands can just get started with Voice Search in less than 30 minutes and, after seeing the success, iteratively add more features. 

We are rooting for all the Davids out there in this battle against Goliath. If you want to add a voice assistant to your app, reach out to us at 42@slanglabs.in or fill out a short form :)