In early January, Capgemini released a Conversational Commerce study predicting voice assistants like Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa will become the dominant mode of consumer interaction with brands and local businesses in the next 3 years. While this has huge implications on brands from a commerce perspective, it also signals a shift in how search engines, and search engine professionals, will need to think about content and SEO.
About half of the users surveyed for the study own a home assistant device, while a whopping 81% interact with a voice assistant on their phone. One of the most interesting elements of Capgemini’s study is users are using their virtual assistants and would like to use them even more. Users indicated , when possible, they currently use their voice assistant to:
- Buy products like groceries, beauty, wellness or homecare products and clothing.
- Make payments or send money.
- Order an Uber or taxi service.
- Order or track take-out from a restaurant.
Users appreciate the convenience, speed and ability to multi-task a voice assistant provides. One of the most common uses, aside from streaming music, is to find information via simple, direct commands. In fact, 24% of respondents said they would rather use a voice assistant than visit a company website.
How this Relates to Voice Search
In addition to outlining the current and future use potential of voice assistants, the Capgemini study also surveyed users about what they valued in a voice assistant experience and how that would impact their brand perception. The overwhelming response was users expect a positive brand experience via voice assistant and they would interact more with companies who provide them.
Major brands like Starbucks, Walmart and Sephora have already begun to offer specific services via home assistant apps, but most brands can take advantage simply by paying attention and optimizing their websites for voice search.
Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant aim to communicate the most relevant information to on-the-go searchers. Most likely, these are responses to questions like:
- What time does Whole Foods open on Sunday?
- Where is the nearest hardware store?
- Who has the best pizza in Toronto?
- Best hair salon near me?
Simple adjustments to website content to ensure business information is up to date and provided in a concise, straightforward way, is a great first step in voice search optimization.