eBay Pushes for Voice Shopping

Howdy !

Are keyboards and touchscreens approaching obsolescence as conversational commerce, or the purchase of products using voice assistants, advances?

We ask because online shoppers are increasingly relying on voice-controlled services and devices, such as Alexa, Google Home and Siri, when purchasing products online.

Even eBay CEO Devin Wenig envisions voice technology playing a big part in the future of eCommerce.

In an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wenig sounds off his thoughts:

“The way humans interface with computers is changing fast. It’s moving from text to images and voice.”

That is backed up by a new study from consultancy firm Capgemini, showing that 24% of online shoppers prefer to shop using a voice assistant instead of a website. And in the next three years, that figure will increase to 40%.

There’s more to add into the mix

By partnering with Google, eBay has made it easier for their customers to search for products and compare prices on the eBay marketplace using their Home devices.

However, even if it has managed to create a more personalised shopping experience, voice technology isn’t the be-all and end-all for the eCommerce giant; it’s just one of the building blocks for their advancement.

Wenig said the future of online shopping won’t be in Alexa and Google Home, but admits “that will be one-waypeople shop, and there will be many others.”

While maximising the power of voice technology to ensure a speedy response to customer queries, the eBay team sees no reason to stop travelling the road which leads to the future of retail.

Being the innovative company that they are, they know that it takes more than a single mechanism to move them forward.

“I think there are going to be a couple of digital and omnichannel marketplaces that make up the future of retail, and we’re going to be one of them. I think speed matters but it’s not the only thing that matters. People also care about cost and value. It’s a combination of cost, speed and convenience, and it’s that mix that we think gives us a great competitive edge,” says Wenig.

What are your thoughts on voice-based shopping and the exploitation of AI technologies to enable it on your eCommerce store? Let us know in the comments below.  

To your continued success,

Dave & Matt


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