EasyAsk Releases Voice Shopper

EasyAsk, a provider of e-commerce search solutions for e-retail, mobile commerce, and B2B commerce, has launched EasyAsk Voice Shopper, an intuitive, conversational voice search solution for mobile commerce sites and native apps.

EasyAsk Voice Shopper enables customers to interact with mobile commerce sites or apps using their voices to find the right products. Customers can ask for products or services using product names, categories or subcategories, virtual categories or product concepts, long-tail searches, and full sentences. The request can have terms or attributes in any order, allowing customers to freely speak their searches in their own words.

"It's more than a search engine; it's a conversation engine," says John Morrell, vice president of products at EasyAsk. "People speak in a stream of consciousness, and search engines typically don't work that way. That's what this product is specifically designed to do."

"Our real value-add for retailers is the conversation engine that understands what the customer is looking for and can deliver the most appropriate response to him," he adds.

Adding to the conversational element, the speech component can also be added to the system's response to the customer inquiries. "The engine can send back any number of responses, in any number of ways, and if the company wants to 'voicify' those responses, they can do that," Morrell says. "The messages are fully customizable by the retailer."

EasyAsk Voice Shopper also creates a conversational feel by offering voice refinements that allow customers to narrow search results with their voices rather than using touchscreen menus. They can also interrogate search results and offer suggestions to provide better results.

EasyAsk works with the retailers' product catalogs, but it can also draw information from trending information, product reviews, and other sources to tailor its responses.

"We work with the retailer to understand what's available, what customers are saying about it, and how it's used, and then we use that to build our knowledgebase of product information," Morell says.

EasyAsk Voice Shopper is part of the EasyAsk E-Commerce Search and Merchandising product family.

The solution can also be used in mobile commerce, either as a mobile app or in the store, according to Morrell. "A shopper could use it in store to find products in the aisles, to check if they are in stock, and if they don't have [a product], to check other stores in the area that might have it," he says.

Existing EasyAsk customers can extend their existing search services to use the Voice Shopper with no additional effort. Leading e-retailers including True Value Hardware, The North Face, JJill, Lamps Plus, Anna's Linens, Boscov's, Travers Tool, Journey's, and AlphaBroder have mobile-optimized m-commerce sites powered by EasyAsk that support voice search today.

"It allows e-retailers to boost their sites' usability," Morrell states. "It facilitates the sale so much faster and better."

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