The Predicted Rise of Voice Search in Ecommerce

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By Marc Sullivan on September 20, 2018
Marc Sullivan

It’s astounding how shopping has evolved over the last 20-30 years.

As digital business owners, if someone told you years ago that it was possible to order a carton of milk, a television, or a pair of jeans online, you probably would have laughed.

The idea just seemed ridiculous to most. And business owners had more questions than there were answers to those questions at the time:

  • How would customers pay?
  • Who would deliver it?
  • How could businesses convince consumers they were a trustworthy brand without seeing a physical store?

So, it’s nothing short of amazing to see how the business landscape has changed in such a short time. All of those questions can now be answered, and we’re even taking massive leaps in terms of technological innovations to make the customer experience better than ever.

A Growing Number of Users Are Using Voice Search

Fast forward several years later and the entire shopping industry has undergone a massive change. Shoppers can now buy just about anything online and in a matter of minutes.

In fact, a whopping 55% of teenagers and 41% of adults utilize voice search on a regular basis, something that would have been hard to imagine years ago.

And if we go by predictions, one source would say that at least half of all searches will be done via voice by 2020. This kind of advancement really takes the user experience to another level, with a lot of simple tasks now becoming even more simplified, including online shopping.

The Rise of Voice Shopping

As one of the many online stores in an increasingly cut-throat market, you’ll need to adapt to the latest trends if you want your e-commerce brand to stand out.

Just take a look at Alexa. Anyone who’s used Alexa knows that it’s a nifty learning software that can be used for shopping, task management, and even sending emails. And you tell it what to do via voice commands.

In fact, you can even tell Alexa to order products for you on Amazon. This is a drastic step up from using type-search to shop, which requires you to get in front of your desktop, laptop, or smartphone display.

Predicted-Rise-of-Voice-Search-in-Ecommerce2Amazon’s search prediction is already impressive. But with the constantly evolving environment of digital shopping, who knows for how long we’ll still be using search bars.

What does this mean for e-commerce store owners?

All businesses have to adapt to survive the competitive landscape of digital marketing.

To secure the future and success of your online store, we highly recommend staying abreast of these types of rising technological trends. Find out if it’s time for you to integrate it into your own website or operations, or perhaps wait for the technology to reach peak stability.

But what is clear is that voice search is being already used today for shopping transactions. So if you’d like more information on how you can use voice search for your e-commerce store, read on.

How E-Commerce Stores Can Use Voice Search Today to Get Ahead

There are plenty of ways to make sure your digital brand is still relevant to the dynamic needs and preferences of customers.

And below we’re sharing with you some of the best methods we’ve found so far related to voice search optimization for e-commerce stores:

  1. Optimize in question form.

The same as you would optimize your website for search engines, it’s a good idea to optimize your ecommerce store for targeted keywords more specific to voice search.

And one common trend with voice searches is how people usually phrase their searches in question form. For example, instead of the phrase “best rice cookers for cooking quinoa”, you’d be optimizing for “What are the best rice cookers for cooking quinoa?”.

So make sure you take note of the following words for optimizing in question form:

  • What
  • Who
  • How
  • When
  • Where

This slight variation might not seem much, but it makes a world of difference in voice search optimization.

  1. Do a voice-targeted keyword research analysis.

You can still use conventional research methods to look for the right keywords for voice shopping. Most likely, people will still be interested in finding out the same kinds of information, regardless if they’re searching for something via voice or text.

And there are a number of great tools to use for digging up valuable keywords. One of them is KWFinderThe best part is that KWFinder has the option of targeting long-tail keywords in question form, which as we’ve discussed above, is ideal for voice search optimization.

Another online tool you can use for gaining insight into what people are interested in is  Answer The PublicWhile the website is mainly used as a means of sharing expert insight on certain topics, many online marketers use it as a tool for research.

To use Answer The Public for keyword research, type in your main keywords into the box. Next,  you’ll be shown a list of results that closely match your search query. Take note that the results should mainly be used for inspiration on keyword ideas, and not as hard data on what to optimize for.

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Answer The Public will show you popular issues or topics discussed by online users. And you’ll notice that the majority of the results are more than three words long.

Long-tail keywords are crucial for voice search optimization. So make sure you go through the data you get from Answer The Public, take the ones that are long-tail and specifically targeted and use that for optimizing your e-commerce site.

  1. Produce content that’s more conversational and customer-targeted.

For your brand to thrive in voice searching, your content found on your e-commerce site should adopt a more conversational writing tone.

Always consider the semantic relationship between the keywords.

Also, add some emotion -- the same way you would if you were writing emails. It’s a practice often overlooked by digital businesses, but it’s a key ingredient for emotion-driven marketing.

Moreover, consider the context related to the questions you’re targeting. It’s important to keep everything centered on the intent behind the inquiries, and to tailor your content to address all the possible related concerns.

As we’ve already covered above, you’ll need to use plenty of long-tail keywords and embed them into your content. And make sure to include different variations so you have better chances of matching up with searches made by target customers.

  1. Focus on locally-made searches.

Optimizing your online store for local SEO will definitely put you ahead of competing businesses. But how do you do that while still maintaining a deep level of personalization on your e-commerce site?

Well, we’ve already shared with you the tools for keyword research.

Your next challenging is strategically placing these keywords all over your site’s content, while making sure you’re also targeting local keywords. Use long-tail keywords, include different variations, phrase the keywords in question form, and add target locations as keywords, as well.

Furthermore, don’t forget to use local variations for terms used in different locations.

For example, instead of just optimizing for “New York City”, make sure you also use keywords like “NYC” or “big apple”. That way, you’re covering all the possible variations for search queries.

Conclusion

There are countless money-making business schemes for aspiring digital marketers to dive into. However, e-commerce can easily stand out as one of the most lucrative online business options by far.

The catch is that online store owners must be constantly adapting to changes in the digital environment, including the imminent rise of voice search shopping. Will we see more technological innovations that will change the face of online shopping? Yes. In fact, we can’t avoid it.

As businesses compete to provide consumers with a better shopping experience, newer and more advanced solutions will also arise. And it’s our job to be prepared for these changes if we want to maintain a competitive edge.


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Topics: Ecommerce, Voice Search

Marc Sullivan

About Marc Sullivan

Marc lives and breathes writing. He writes about marketing, business, sports, cybersecurity, or just about anything and everything under the sun.

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