Voice Commerce: What It Is, What It Does, Who It’s For

August 8, 2022

If you haven’t heard of voice commerce yet, you don’t have to ask Siri to tell you about it – we’ll explain everything you need to know right here.

Voice commerce integrates digital assistants with the e-commerce purchase experience, and it’s on the rise. UK voice transactions through smart speakers are estimated to be valued at £3.5 billion in 2022.

It might sound like a huge departure from how you usually think about e-commerce, and it is. As a sales channel, voice commerce offers businesses the chance to engage with consumers in a radical way. When a customer uses voice commerce to find a product, the window between searching and purchasing shrinks dramatically.

We’ll explain the basics and tell you how your business might benefit from implementing voice commerce.

Voice Commerce

Voice commerce is simple in concept and simple in practice. Voice commerce purchases are e-commerce purchases made using a digital assistant, like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, or Microsoft’s Cortana.

If you’ve used one of these assistants, you may be familiar with the process of requesting information. A digital assistant searches for results that best match the searcher’s query, and reads off a brief summary of the information. While this feature has always been used for information retrieval, it’s been repurposed for e-commerce.

Digital assistants can apply the same search process to streamline purchases. The customer requests an item, the digital assistant provides a product, the customer gets answers about the basic product information, and the digital assistant confirms the order.

As you can probably tell, this purchase process is an incredibly fast trip through the sales funnel. The digital assistant does the work of filtering through options for the searcher, providing them with the most relevant option for their query.

The purchase also resembles a traditional interpersonal retail experience, with a customer requesting information about the product and receiving results in real time. Unlike a person-to-person interaction, though, the customer doesn’t expect salesmanship from their digital assistant. The customer searches with the intent to buy, gets the important facts, and makes their purchase.

Some Implications

Voice commerce is a unique version of e-commerce: it seriously cuts down on browsing time, meaning that purchases can happen within seconds of the original search.

This straight line through the search process obviously presents a lot of opportunities for e-commerce sellers, though some businesses might be wary of just how streamlined the process is. These businesses might worry about the lack of opportunity for customers to discover products through traditional searches and sales page browsing.

And this is a valid concern; though there are things you can do to increase your chances of being found by your target customers, such as improving your SEO, the customer isn’t likely to listen through multiple options.

Not all industries benefit from voice commerce equally, because not all products and services are equally suited to be sold over voice commerce. Industries that rely on reportable data, like tech, are poised to work with voice commerce most seamlessly.

Another concern is that customers won’t always be able to see what they’re buying, so industries that are reliant on visual appeal – clothing, home décor, cosmetics – will have a more difficult time.


However, one use for voice commerce that can be more widely beneficial is: replenishments and re-orders.

If a customer has already placed an order with your business, they can easily reference that order to purchase a replacement. Creating a strong traditional e-commerce presence for web browsers means that clients can purchase from you after web surfing, and then easily reorder from you using voice commerce.

Voice commerce is an investment, but it could be a smart decision for the right business!

Get in touch with us today to book a Free e-commerce clinic to discuss voice commerce and if it's right for your business.