Ecommerce Voice Search: How To Prepare Your Shopify Store
48% of web searches are now carried out by voice. This figure shows that people enjoy ordering goods online conveniently—without doing too much work. In fact, all they have to do is speak instead of type. Easy.
The biggest challenge that lies with ecommerce stores is that they must transition to voice commerce in a way that delivers a good customer experience.
This means creating conversational content, understanding your customers and the way they behave, and ultimately creating an SEO campaign that drives more traffic.
In this post, we’ll show you how to implement these tactics the easy way. And don’t worry if it all sounds difficult. We’ll break down each so your ecommerce store is fully optimized for voice shopping.
What is Voice Shopping?
Ecommerce has seen many trends over the years, but voice commerce is perhaps one of the biggest ever.
It’s a sign of the times we’re entering: Not only are ecommerce sales growing year on year (4.9 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2021—with the figure forecast to grow by 50% over the next four years), customers are also finding that they want to carry out their online shopping faster than ever. As such, voice commerce is a no-brainer.
In a nutshell, voice commerce is when a customer makes an order online using their voice. They speak into their device to:
- Search for products
- Check customer reviews
- Speak to customer service
- Complete their order
It’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s kinda like having a 1:1 conversation on the shop floor with a salesperson.
3 Benefits of Voice Search For Ecommerce & Shopping
Implementing voice shopping in your online store comes with many benefits. They are:
Keep up with Market Demand
As we mentioned a little earlier, almost half of all web searches are carried out using voice.
Implementing voice commerce will allow you to keep up with market demand, expanding your customer experience so that you’re able to target and engage those customers who now expect an online store to offer voice shopping.
Gathering consumer behavior-related data is something we all yearn for since it provides an enhanced purchasing experience for the consumer. Likewise, it helps our business grow.
And since voice commerce collects significant data from customer interactions—it contributes to developing personalized experiences.
Additionally, it offers the opportunity to scan shoppers’ voices to analyze and recognize their emotions. This information offers a deeper understanding of customers’ needs—helping to build and deliver the right message at the right time.
Make the purchase process easier
Ultimately, voice commerce can increase your sales by making the purchase process so much easier. A process that usually takes 3 or 4 steps to complete can be sped-up so that it’s now just a single command as the customer is able to directly add items to their cart—with fewer obstacles in the way of their purchase.
8 Ways to Prepare Your Site for Voice Shopping
Here’s nine ways you can prepare your ecommerce store for voice shopping:
Create Featured Snippets
A featured snippet is an authoritative answer that’s shown as a series of steps, table, or summary at the top of Google search results. Taken directly from a webpage—it answers a customer’s search query—with Google displaying what it believes to be the best, most accurate response from a related website.
Featured snippets are invaluable to websites because they boost their SEO efforts, and improve click-through rates.
How are featured snippets related to voice shopping? Voice assistants read them aloud in response to voice searches.
For instance, a typed query like “best men’s leather jackets 2022” might look and sound like “what are the best men’s leather jackets for 2022?” when a customer says it out loud into their device.
This means your aim is to create a featured snippet that concisely but informatively answers a user’s question so that a) Google picks it out as the featured snippet for that particular query and b) the digital assistant is able to say it in a natural way.
Then, you’ve got a better chance of ranking.
Optimize Your Web Pages for Local Search
It’s no secret that many people who perform searches on their mobile devices are actually performing local searches.
This of course means you should optimize your pages for local questions.
What kind of questions should you be looking to add to your site?
Queries related to directions, maps, and parking are helpful, as well as your opening hours.
Don’t forget to add “near me” to the end of some of your queries, too, such as “best boutique near me.”
Because local searches go hand in hand with mobile searches, it’s essential that you also focus on optimizing your website for the mobile experience.
This means—among other things—ensuring that site load time is excellent and that your website is responsively designed. After all, 27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile.
Create Conversational Content that’s Concise
Remember back in the day when you would add lots of keywords to your content to rank high in Google?
Thankfully, those days are behind us now. In 2022, Google wants us to provide a great user experience—by being more authentic with our language, as well as natural.
Google also wants us to add more value to our content.
When a customer uses speech to perform a search query, they’re far more likely to sound more natural than when they type something into Google. Indeed, studies show that almost 70% of requests to the Google Assistant are expressed in natural language, and not the typical keywords people type in a web search.
As a result, it’s important that your content is able to mimic the way a customer speaks and be equally conversational
To do this, you need to make your content concise and information-driven, and you need to be direct and get to the point in as few sentences as possible. Keep in mind that, people who use voice to perform search queries want fast answers—they don’t want you to waste the time listening to unhelpful information.
That said, there has to be a balance here. While you need to create information-driven content, you also don’t want to come across as dry, robotic, and impersonal. Instead, you want to balance concision with engagement. Engage the end user, be personable, be friendly, be human, be conversational, but get to the core of the answer quickly.
FAQ Pages That Directly Answer Your Queries
FAQ pages are vital for any ecommerce store because they give you a chance to answer customer queries there and then without the need for them to leave the page they are browsing.
They’re especially important for whenever a customer is in the consideration stage and weighing up whether or not to shop with you or a rival store.
Not just this, but since FAQs pages contain questions—they can also boost your SEO efforts and bring in more qualified traffic via voice search. In fact, studies have shown that voice search results are 1.7x more likely to come from an FAQ page compared to desktop results.
And because question keywords are on the rise, it’s all the more important that you optimize your FAQ pages with conversational answers. This will ensure that a digital assistant is able to relay the answer naturally to the end user.
Understand Your Customers & the Device They Use
Naturally, your customers are not all the same. They’ll each use voice search differently, and they’ll use different devices, including smartphones and tablets.
This is why it’s helpful to dig into your on-page analytics and real-time data to uncover insights into how your customers speak, the language they use, the type of questions they ask, as well as how they behave on your site once they’ve arrived.
Armed with this information, you can then create a stronger voice shopping experience that connects you with your customers where they’re at, and offers them a personalized experience that’s tailored to their needs.
Move From Keywords to Semantics
Following on from the above point, understanding more about your customers, including the who, what, and why behind their search query—is super important if you’re to answer their questions successfully.
In the past, the focus was on creating a keyword-based strategy that would seek to bring in traffic based on short and long tail keywords like “women’s handbags near me”.
Today, the shift has to be towards user intent and topics—especially when preparing your website for voice shopping.
In other words, semantic SEO. In fact, semantic search is central to voice search.
The shift is down to the fact that people communicate their search queries differently when they’re using their voice. They use language that’s more natural and context-based, and which reveals their intent.
For instance, a spoken search query like “Google, tell me more about X product,” tells us that this customer is seeking information. As such, you should create content around a topic that educates readers about your product—in turn helping your content’s semantic SEO and voice search rankings.
Setup Your Google My Business Profile
Is your business on Google My Business?
If it isn’t, you need to add it as soon as possible. If it is, make sure your listing is updated. This will help your business rank high for relevant voice searches.
You should also seek to add as much relevant information as possible that’s useful to your customers, and which could persuade them to visit your store and not a rival store.
You can include information such as your opening hours and address, as well as seemingly minor details, such as parking information.
AI-Powered Voice Technology
When customers visit your store, you want them to get the exact answers they’re looking for as quickly as possible—without having to ask the same question in a different way over and over again.
For some forward-thinking ecommerce stores, this is where voice search APIs come in useful. They can build, step by step, a voice search experience, so that your ecommerce store’s search bar has a button that triggers voice input. This will allow your customers to search your catalog via voice command.
These are AI-powered voice technologies that improve the user experience by understanding context each time your customer performs a voice search query.
Via natural language learning and personalization, the tech is able to improve search results over time so that, eventually, you’ll be able to satisfy customer queries straight off the bat.
If you’re concerned about the cost of such technology, it’s well worth exploring ecommerce funding options, such as revenue-based finance.
Ecommerce Voice Search
Voice shopping is convenient for the customer and helps them get what they want faster than ever online. If you can optimize your online store for voice shopping, you can attract more customers, retain more customers—and grow your business.
Because voice shopping is linked with SEO, it’s important to keep your eye on changes and trends as and when they happen. We’re still largely at the beginning of the voice shopping frontier, and by monitoring new developments, such as changes to the Google algorithm, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve and continue giving your customers the shopping experience they want.