Consumers and retailers embrace v-commerce: average orders hit £200 and investment in voice SEO grows

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The average UK consumer is happy to spend in excess of £195 on an order through v-commerce (voice commerce) technology and want great ‘voice service’ – and retail marketers are matching this with growing investment in voice SEO.

According to a study by marketing technology company Wiraya, the rise in the use of voice technology shows the growing use of new tech for consumers looking for outstanding service. The study was conducted alongside Wiraya’s annual CRM Barometer report, which surveyed 750 leading CRM and Customer Experience Managers in the UK and Europe understanding current trends in customer experience.

This report revealed that a genuine two-way conversation with the customer ranks second highest in terms of what businesses now deem ‘outstanding customer service’. Furthermore, over a third of consumers surveyed (36%) want customer service available across different channels including mobile, online and over the phone.

There’s no one rule of thumb for delivering on customer experience and as such delivering a tailored experience to different consumer groups is key. For instance, 14% of 18 to 29 year olds identify self-service as a contributor to outstanding customer service, but this drops to just 4% among over 60s, who are far more interested in receiving proactive offers from brands (24%).

Delving further in to customer expectations in this area, at least 47% of consumers over the age of 45 want the best deals and prices to be directed to existing customers as opposed to luring new shoppers.

Investment in voice SEO

To meet this demand, retail marketers are investing in voice marketing. A separate study by digital marketing agency QueryClick finds that75% of CMOs surveyed said their brand will change its SEO strategy to ensure it appears in voice-led search results. Of those, 43% said they would do this within the next 12 months. 32% said they would make the changes in over 12 months’ time.

Only 3% of brands surveyed have already adapted their SEO strategies to ensure their brand appears in voice-led search results, despite consumers already making 50 billion voice searches per month today.

The report, which includes a survey of over 150 Chief Marketing Officers for UK consumer brands with a revenue of over £150 million and an e-commerce offering, found that 66% of CMOs for large retail brands have plans to invest in machine learning to enhance their digital marketing strategies within the next 12 months.

“Consumer attention is under an unprecedented assault from brand messaging and content across more channels than ever before, and retailers are fiercely competing for their share. Amidst the challenges however lie opportunities for retailers able to rebuild their strategies using data science to truly understand what consumers want, and consistently engage with them. An investment in digital, including machine learning technology, that allows retailers to track and unify the customer journey across all channels, and allows them to deliver timely, targeted messages to capture demand, is fundamental to their success.”

– Chris Liversidge, Founder and CEO of QueryClick

Missing the mood

Despite this, only a quarter (27%) of business respondents to Wiraya’s CRM Barometer identified offering the best deals to existing customers as an area of outstanding customer service. This comes at a time when over 50% of customers would be willing to share information to enable more personalised, relevant communication.

“It’s easy to lose track of the consumer when you’re focused on all the different communication channels. But failing to focus on customer preferences simply isn’t an option. Consumers want to help brands improve their service, but 85% of those we interviewed are prepared to leave a brand or service provider after a bad experience. The good news is 21% of UK businesses are prioritising existing customers more than prospects this year. The customer’s voice is represented in the top management team in nearly nine in ten companies and 69% of customer experience leads within a business have the authority to make the changes necessary to enhance the customer experience. For many, the answer is building in that crucial layer of automation combined with a personal approach that tailors the service to each customer segment. Thankfully the technology now exists to you enable businesses to do just that.”

– Sam Madden, UK Director, Wiraya

Image: Paul Skeldon


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