Asking Alexa for the weather or setting an alarm clock with Siri has become very common already for millions of people.
But things seem to be changing quickly and an interesting new chapter is opening.
According to voice technology and artificial intelligence experts, we as consumers will be much more likely to use these technologies in retail spaces to reduce the risk of covid-19 infection.
Large tech companies in different sectors are entering the retail world to allow customers to buy or order directly by voice, thus avoiding direct contact with employees or touching equipment.
Two current trends concern stores and restaurants.
Voice technology in retail: what’s changing?
The former is focused on making their product catalogue available in the physical store through voice searches.
The latter want to allow their customers to place even complex orders, both for drive-through and when they are sitting at the table, without having to talk to anyone or press buttons.
Tinglong Dai, an associate professor of operations management and business analytics at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, studied human-AI interaction during the pandemic.
According to him, experiences of this kind in shops or restaurants will be similar to asking Alexa or Google Assistant to play a song or Siri to write a message.
Voice technology will also be able to give directions in stores, create shopping lists, give advice and allow you to pay, thus drastically reducing the need for interaction with other people.
The virus is definitely one of the main concerns for people in this historical period, which could accelerate this process.
However, we must take into account a statistic that speaks of people’s discomfort in using this technology while shopping (at least for now).
In general, the people interviewed were more open to the use of voice technology in fast-food or grocery stores, a little less so in normal restaurants.
The vast majority of people would still prefer to receive assistance from a person rather than a voice assistant.
Among those who would already prefer a voice assistant, a good slice states that the virus is a determining factor that makes them lean that way.
The younger generations have shown themselves to be more in favour of using AI, but not as much as one might expect.
Apparently the human factor continues to be important for people, which in many ways is absolutely good.
Alongside these statistics, however, we see that the daily use of voice technology is increasing exponentially.
If at the beginning of 2017 about 7% of American adults owned a smart speaker, this figure reached almost 25% in December 2019 (we are talking about 60 million people).
About half of these people use it every day and several times a day. According to a survey, the frequency of use increased during the pandemic.
The use of these technologies in these types of business can, among other things, be an important advertising medium.
Amazon and Google do not yet allow advertising in smart speakers, but a store that develops a voice app can still build it to recommend certain brands within it.
In short, this could be a turning point in the business use of voice technologies.
An opportunity that every type of company, large or small, should take advantage of.
Voice is becoming more and more a fundamental element to be included in the communication strategy.
Clearly, having one’s voice app built to measure requires a considerable investment and several difficulties that not everyone can afford to face.
We founded IPERVOX precisely to give anyone the opportunity to enter the voice market, beyond budget and technical expertise.
If you want to take advantage of this moment and start getting familiar with this world, you can create your own voice app in just a few minutes by clicking on “Start for free” at the bottom.
Not putting it off again might be the best choice to make right now.
I’ll wait for you inside,
CEO and Founder of IPERVOX