You’re waiting in an interminable traffic jam, thinking about your to-do list. You order veggies and pay bills by commanding your phone’s voice assistant, then an audiobook to pass the time. You don’t notice when the jam ends, and you’re happily on your way home.
Some aspects of this scenario are already becoming a reality for 50% of voice assistant users. Starbucks has already partnered with Alibaba to roll out smart speakers for online orders and delivery in some outlets. Voice online shopping is on its way to becoming one of the dominant ways people buy things.
What is voice commerce?
After real-life commerce and e-commerce come the next stage in the evolution of shopping – voice commerce. It is the process of purchasing by speaking to an AI-based application on a device like a smartphone, smart speaker, or website.
In voice commerce, people can perform voice searches to their specifications and then complete the transactions with voice commands, making it a ‘zero click’ experience. Strictly speaking, voice commerce is a subset of e-commerce but involves speech recognition, intent analysis, recommendation algorithms, speech synthesis, and machine learning.
Ever since the introduction of smart speakers like the Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home Mini, their sales have been at an all-time high. They have already changed the home automation sector, and voice commerce is a natural advancement. The estimate is that 320 million units of smart speakers have been installed globally.
Some facts about the voice commerce market
Unsurprisingly, Amazon holds over half the market share for voice commerce due to the popularity of the Alexa-based smart speakers. Google Home is not far behind, and Google estimates that 62% of those who use voice-activated speakers are likely to shop for something in a month. 44% of regular users order groceries and household items once a week.
Although only 2% of Alexa users actively do voice commerce, more people will adopt the technology as ease-of-use improves. It is likely to become worth $80 million a year by 2023. Since 90% of Alexa users have not repurchased by voice, here lies an opportunity to seize the market.
Benefits of Voice Commerce
What are the reasons for the rise of voice commerce?
Speed & Convenience
Talking is a lot faster and easier than typing. If payment and address details are saved ahead of time, voice shopping can happen seamlessly. Studies find that too much time spent in the transaction process decreases customer satisfaction, the number one metric to retain customers.
Now that voice bots and chatbots are becoming more common, users expect fast and efficient performance. Going from multi-clicks to zero will enhance the user experience. Consumers can just place orders when they remember something and don’t need to spend time searching order histories.
It is also hands-free and contactless.
Companies are investing in the whole spectrum of voice recognition and AI-based recommendation technology, thus offering hyper-personalized experiences. People can reorder previous purchases, which incentivizes brand loyalty and convenience. More personalization improves user experience.
Enhancing Security with Voice Biometrics
Hurdles for Voice Commerce
User experience is a constraint because voice commerce platforms arent as media-rich as visual e-commerce sites. Many products need some visuals for purchase. Technology needs to improve when it comes to an understanding human commands.
The second-largest concern is privacy, which bothers 53% of surveyed consumers. 58% of people don’t even want to get a speaker because they are worried about unauthorized listening and data gathering.
The final hurdle is from regulation and legislation. The EU has a new payments directive, PSD2, which makes it compulsory for all customers to perform a strong customer authentication when making electronic transactions. But voice recognition has not yet been recognized as one of the factors that count.
How does voice biometrics help?
Two-factor authentication, based on one-time passwords and account logins, is proven to be vulnerable to cyber fraud. Therefore, global agencies like the European Banking Authority have been looking into biometrics to make user authentication more secure and less dependent on communication infrastructures. Behavioral biometrics can make interactions more secure, reducing fraud and being invisible to the customer.
Voice biometrics has matured a lot over the years. The technology for voice identification and authentication is better than ever. Voiceprints can be used to identify users both across digital channels and voice channels. The technology is also contactless and more favorable to remote usage than physical biometrics.
A voiceprint is difficult to fake because the technology now uses many factors like pronunciation, dialect, speed of speaking, accent, and diction. Since it is a binary file, it cannot be played back. It gets signed and hashed by the machine that created it, only to be used with the same engine. Voice biometrics systems have anti-spoofing layers to deter voice recordings and speech synthesizers.
Another significant concern with traditional non-biometric authentication is data privacy. Security verification questions often ask personal details users don’t want to share, like a pet or school name. External security questions also have a 15-20% failure rate for fraud. They don’t need to share any of this data for voice biometrics. You also cannot re-enroll a voiceprint; you have to update fresh voiceprints if age brings changes.
With the advancements in the metaverse and web3, technologies like voice recognition, text-to-speech, and vice versa will become omnipresent. AR and VR are also progressing rapidly, and voice communication is essential in them.
Therefore, voice biometrics will be rapidly adopted as organizations implement biometric solutions to deal with cybersecurity concerns. You can be an early adopter and take a look at armour365TM for seamlessly identifying your customers.