September 25, 2017
Retailers listen up. Consumers are talking, and it is via a new channel that bears promise for new revenue.
Voice recognition technology is emerging as a mainstream sales tool. Consumers are increasingly ordering groceries, pizza and coffee simply by talking to their device. They don’t need to drive to the store, log into a computer or even open up an app on their smartphone anymore. New voice-activated devices from Google and Amazon allow people to quickly say what they want to buy.
JLL’s researcher Arielle Einhorn says, “Voice activated retail technology is one of those pieces of technology that will become more and more mainstream. It provides a new way for retailers to communicate and participate in the shopping experience. This is the next step in convenience.”
Though in its infancy, early adopters are using the technology as the next step in online shopping, primarily as a way to easily and quickly complete chores. Nearly one in five U.S. consumers purchased something using a voice-controlled device in the past year, and 33% expect to do so in the next year.
So how might all this talking to a device impact retailers?
One such way the retail sector could take advantage is by fulfilling orders consumers have already made in the past. Domino’s Pizza and Starbucks already allow consumers to reorder from a previous order, while LG Electronics offers a web-connected fridge fitted with Alexa technology so you can order groceries. In addition, Ford’s in-car Alexa application enables drivers to order products, ask questions or search for restaurants.
Einhorn envisions the shopping experience changing for the better in department stores, too, as voice-activated devices are used. It promises to deepen or create new relationships between customers and the retailer, and is likely to make the experience easier and more efficient for shoppers.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser