Where voice commerce currently lacks, social commerce excels, is the key takeout from Episerver’s third-annual Reimagining Commerce report released overnight.
Consumers indicating they used a voice-assisted device such like Amazon Echo or Google Home to research before a purchase has risen 83 per cent year-over-year, despite prevailing security concerns, according to the report.
The research — which contains insights from more than 4,500 online shoppers in eight countries — found 17 per cent of online shoppers make multiple voice purchases a month or more frequently demonstrating a steady rise from 11 per cent in 2017.
While voice purchases are increasing, around 43 per cent of consumers cited a lack of security features as the number one reason they won’t make more purchases via voice-enabled devices this year. Voice commerce was further constrained by a lack of product images and difficulty comparing products according to the consumers surveyed.
What can be gleaned from the challenges that currently beset voice commerce is to get ahead, brands and retailers must implement dynamic, integrated content marketing and customer experience strategies that forge personal, emotional connections with shoppers beyond transactions.
In contrast, the Episerver report showed social media — a once-nascent purchasing channel itself — is now a mainstay in people’s path toward purchase as almost two-thirds of online shoppers have clicked on a social media ad with 33 per cent of them making a direct purchase as a result.
Commenting on the report, Ed Kennedy, senior commerce director at Episerver said, “Our data indicates social media drives purchases and has massive sway over younger consumers.”
“It has evolved from networks’ early testing of primitive ‘buy now’ buttons to a native part of people’s everyday lives in which scrolling quickly turns into shopping.
“Retailers looking to prioritise efforts for the remainder of the year need to look at what is currently working and who is helping drive awareness and ultimately purchases,” he said.
Episerver found that over half of online shoppers who use social media have clicked on an influencer’s post and a third of those shoppers have made a direct purchase from the post.
Furthermore, a near-equal amount of shoppers are using social media, for inspiration when they do not have a specific product in mind for purchase compared to a brand’s website. The Episerver report noted that consistent content experiences are especially important — regardless of where shoppers choose to engage a company, they should be able to trust the accuracy and completeness of the information they find.