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Voice Search: Ready for Digital Marketing?

The volume of engagement we see already suggests that conversational commerce is not a horizon outcome. Customers are shopping with their voice now.”Amit Shah, CMO, 1-800-FLOWERS.com

Voice search is growing in popularity but is it ready for digital marketing? One consideration is how and for what type of searches consumers currently use voice search. Current research indicates that 41% of US adults use voice search at least once a day, primarily for short, practical inquiries related to their local environment (think shopping, weather) or current activity (think cooking). Here are some additional data points that may help you decide whether your products or services are a good fit for marketing to voice search users:

  • Boomers are more likely than millennials to say they want their voice-activated speakers to deliver information about deals, sales, and promotions. More at Think with Google
  • [Parents] want to find business information, call up customer service, and discover new brands using their devices. 
  • 72% of parents who own voice-activated speakers said they are likely to use them to buy something in the next month. Only 51% of non-parents say the same thing. More at Think with Google

Another important consideration is how consumers would feel about ads placed in their voice search results. Some think that ads or sponsored results are likely to be a turn off – by either annoying users or undermining trust in the results. Notably, Google itself says that it is focusing on optimizing the user experience for now, not monetizing voice search through advertising. It recently launched the Shopping Actions program (formerly Google Express), which gives customers an easy way to shop with Google Assistant and Search with a universal cart. Several major retailers, such as Target, Ulta and 1-800-FLOWERS.com are already on board and seeing positive results.