Voice's Expanding Role in 2020

Voice technology today is where mobile technology was 10 years ago, and in 2020 we will see it expand across multiple industries. Through the use of conversational technology, voice searches and interactions will become more fluid, increasingly accurate, and more streamlined than traditional text searches. 2018 research from PwC showed that only 10 percent of consumers were not familiar with voice technology, and of the 90 percent that were, 72 percent had used voice technology.

Companies will continue to recognize the importance of voice search for modernized interactions as consumers and end users are becoming more familiar with voice and expect seamless experiences. When done properly, voice can create a clear path between a customer and a product, opening more opportunities for sales and cart conversions. Even in instances where customers do not ultimately end up buying, positive voice interactions will build trust and loyalty with the brand. People are comfortable with voice, and in five years, they will want this voice experience in their homes, in the store, and everywhere in between (public and private spaces). Imagine walking into Home Depot and getting what you need without ever speaking to a human. That day is coming.

Aside from the traditional buying experience, voice also opens up opportunities for increased accessibility. Those who might not be able to use or navigate the traditional text keyboard will have an alternative path for gathering information and completing their goals. This increases brand inclusion and recognition in demographics that might have been previously untapped.

Dustin Coates is voice search lead at Algolia. He is also the author of Voice Applications for Alexa and Google Assistant and co-host of the podcast VUX World, which focuses on what leading voice practitioners are doing to make better voice experiences.

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