Voice search: what is it and how does it work in e-commerce?

Voice search is a feature that allows users to search for information on the internet or on a specific website using only their voice, without having to type anything. This is possible through artificial intelligence speech recognition. Understand what it is and how this innovative technology works.


 

A voice search is gaining more and more space in search engines, websites in general and even in e-commerce, as it provides much more convenience and accessibility for this task.  

Taking the necessary precautions, voice search on search engines can help drive more traffic to the site; and when present within virtual stores, it allows customers to find products more easily, especially those that are in doubt as to the correct spelling.

In both cases, the purchase journey becomes much faster, more assertive and practical. Therefore, we prepared this content to explain everything that involves this technology. 

What is voice search?

A voice search is a feature that allows users to search for information on the internet or within a specific website using only their voice, without having to type anything in the search field

A voice technology it is increasingly common to do all types of searches on search engines, like Google and Bing; to perform commands on Smart TVs, such as turning on and off, switching channels, searching for movies and series; and to do both with the voice assistants Alexa, Google Home, Siri, Cortana, etc. 

How does voice search work? 

Voice search works through the speech recognition com artificial intelligence (AI) and is only possible thanks to the union of two fields of study: linguistics and computing, which gave rise to the computational linguistics.

With speech recognition, AI is able to identify verbally pronounced phonemes, words and phrases. In this way, it is possible to promote speech interaction of the human being with the machine. 

How to leverage voice searches to increase website traffic

In a scenario where voice searches are increasingly on the rise, optimize your website pages to be found in voice search results is a way to increase your organic traffic generation. Check out some tips that will help with this.

  • Bet on long-tail keywords
  • Enter questions and answers
  • Use more informal language

Bet on long-tail keywords

Users tend to search differently when they use voice search. While in written mode people usually type single words and often more general terms such as “e-commerce in Brazil” or “jeans”, in voice search, searches are more specific and long-tail keywords are more common. For example: “size 36 skinny jeans”.

Enter questions and answers

Another way to perform voice searches is by asking questions, such as: “does the clothes dryer use a lot of energy?”. Therefore, you can take advantage of and use these questions and answers to compose your e-commerce product pages or even create content for your company's blog. 

Use more informal language

Spoken language is much more informal than written language, so in order for your website pages to appear in search engine results, keep your website communication in a more informal tone — but without letting it get in the way of understanding and always taking into account your persona.

Voice technology and accessibility

Voice technology is closely related to accessibility for people with visual impairments, disability or absence of hands and arms and even the illiterate public. In addition, it also facilitates the search for items with foreign words and/or difficult spelling, which we sometimes know how to speak but cannot write. 

So, in addition to helping to generate organic traffic, optimizing your site for voice searches also make your more inclusive company.

Voice search in online stores

Voice search for e-commerce works more or less in the same way as voice search for search engines, only within the virtual store. And it acts as a complementary strategy to optimizations to appear in search engine voice searches.

It is one of the features of smart search, which uses artificial intelligence to optimize online searches. Therefore, it has the same characteristics: high speed; phonetic similarity; automated color search, through image recognition; is behavioral search. And it works on both desktop and desktop computer. smartphone

This means that if the consumer chooses to use his voice, he will have access to the same advantages of typed research, but with a plus: the convenience of not having to use his hands to type. 

How it works

In cases of voice search for e-commerce, the consumer just needs to click on the microphone icon, speak what he wants and the intelligence will identify what was said and transcribe it into text automatically, as shown in the example below:

As mentioned earlier, note that the other capabilities of smart search also work on voice search. Therefore, it was possible to find the product by searching by color — even without having this information in the title or description of the product — and the results were shown in milliseconds.  

Likewise, if the customer mispronounces the name of a product or a brand, the intelligence identifies the information and the voice search shows the right results, similar to what happens with the search typed in a smart search. It's a great outlet for foreign products and brands with names that are difficult to spell and/or pronounce. See the video below to see how it works.

In the previous example, the consumer is looking for a specific type of wine, “pinot noir”, a grape originally from France. Anyone who knows a little about the French language knows that the correct pronunciation makes the word “pinot” sound stronger in the second syllable, that the “t” is almost silent and that the “go” of “noir” has a sound similar to “arr” for Portuguese speakers. 

But who does not know this, ends up pronouncing it as if it were a word in the Portuguese language. However, as you have seen, voice search has the ability to identify and show the right results nonetheless.

Why have voice search in my online store? 

Now that you know what a voice search for e-commerce is and how it works, we have listed some benefits and reasons for you to have this technology inside your virtual store. Check out. 

  • Ease in the search for products
  • More speed to show results
  • Voice technology is a growing trend
  • Same experience throughout the purchase journey
  • Differential for the brand

Ease in the search for products

Having an active voice search in your search field means that the customer does not need to type anything when looking for a product. This greatly facilitates the purchase journey, especially in the case of foreign items and brands or with difficult names. 

More speed to show results

Smart search itself has high speed and shows products in milliseconds, but voice search can be even faster. According to Bing, searching using voice is 3,7 times faster than typing. What's more, the customer doesn't need to think about how to type what he wants, he just speaks and the search already shows the results.

Voice technology is a growing trend

As already mentioned, today voice is increasingly used in various situations in the online and even offline universe, with the use of virtual assistants, Smart TVs, voice search in search engines and even in messaging applications. instant messages such as WhatsApp. 

In addition, this feature has also been widely used for online shopping, with the voice commerce and now with the search for an internal voice in e-commerce. 

All this shows that people are changing their habits a lot, especially the younger audience, and they will prefer to carry out voice searches if they have that option. It seems that soon the expression “voice first” will be very common.

Same experience throughout the purchase journey

As you saw in the previous topics, many people already search for information and products on Google, using their voice. If your customer has this habit, with a voice search within the virtual store you can offer him the same experience throughout the purchase journey. 

Imagine, for example, that he accesses Google to look for a wine to buy, clicks on the microphone and says “cabernet sauvignon”. Soon results will appear for this search and he will click on one of them. 

When entering the store and seeing the product, it is possible that he wants to do some more research, see wines of other values, other brands and even other types. If the store does not have a voice search, it will have to type in to search for more options. 

On the other hand, if he enters the store and can continue to search for his voice, he continues to have the same experience and the buying journey becomes much higher. 

Differential for the brand

When you offer new options and new consumer technologies, he sees immense value in this, recognizes that the company is investing in innovation and is concerned with delivering a shopping experience excellent and distinguished. This impacts your brand image and acts as a market differentiator. 

Voice commerce x voice search: understand the difference

voice commerce ou voice shopping it is a way of making purchases using only your voice. Today, it is more common through the use of voice assistants.

In the USA, this is the fastest growing sales channel. The emergence of this habit has to do with the long distances between home and work, which has meant that many consumers have started to take advantage of this time to shop in the car while on the move. 

Amazon invests a lot in this format, just like it did with recommendation system, which is a great success story and influences all e-commerce to this day. One more sign that voice commerce is a trend that will continue to grow a lot.

But, despite all the convenience, this channel still has some problems, such as errors in responses or even not understanding the request. In addition, voice assistants do not yet have a date to activate voice commerce in Brazil. 

The voice search within the virtual store, on the other hand, works perfectly, because it has all the qualities of an intelligent search. and is now available in Brazil. It is a great alternative for those who want to offer a shopping experience innovative and differentiated for customers. 

Conclusion

Voice technologies are a rapidly growing trend: in search engines; with virtual assistants and other devices; and within online stores. 

In addition to the ease they generate, they also contribute to accessibility and social inclusion. 

Having a store optimized for voice searches can help increase traffic to your e-commerce; and having a voice search within the store complements its strategy, as it allows consumers to continue to use this feature, generating a good experience and facilitating the search for products. This consequently increases the chances of conversion and customer loyalty.

SmartHint's smart search relies on voice search and many online stores of different sizes and segments are already using it. Some examples are: Diesel, Wine, Philco and Amend Cosmetics.

Do you also want to have this feature in your store? Meet our voice search!

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Tânia d'Arc

Tânia d'Arc

Graduated in letters and post-graduated in digital media, she is passionate about words, communication and details.
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