Aashish Chandorkar, Head, Capgemini Consulting India practice
In our research published early this year titled “Conversational Commerce: Why consumers are embracing voice assistants
in their lives”, we spoke to consumers across the US, the UK, France, and Germany, on their preferences for a voice assistant
and how it was likely to evolve in the coming years. We found that more than half already use voice assistants
in one form or another and over a third have already bought clothes, ordered groceries, or ordered a meal via a voice assistant.
The use cases for a voice assistant
in commerce are many. We found that nearly 1 in 2 consumers have a high interest in ordering meals, booking a taxi, or purchasing electronics using a voice assistant.
And users of voice assistants
are quite bullish on its prospects. For instance, they believe they will spend as much as 18 per cent of their total expenditure using voice assistants
in the next three years — up from 3 per cent currently. And beyond purchases, consumers see support as an area where voice assistants
can help play a key role. Why do consumers prefer voice assistants?
The two biggest factors turn out to be speed and convenience. For large retailers in particular, a worrying factor lies in our finding that over a third of consumers (38 per cent) prefer voice assistants
as it helps them avoid interacting with a sales representative. What can derail the spread of voice assistants?
One of the biggest concerns for use of voice assistants
among non-users is the big trust factor.
Over 65 per cent of non-users did not trust voice assistants
Subrahmanyam Kanakadandi, Head, digital transformation research, Capgemini in India
represents a significant opportunity for brands and retailers to interact with their consumers in new and innovative ways. Rapid technological advances, coupled with increasing consumer appetite for voice devices, is driving investment and innovation. Companies must harness this interaction opportunity to build relationships of value with consumers across the lifecycle and offer an entirely new, more instinctive way for consumers to engage with them.Some Indian tech start-ups have already taken a head-start. Zomato, an Indian restaurant search app, is already a “skill” on Alexa, allowing users to reserve tables, get restaurant recommendations, or even place an order for home delivery. Similarly, users can now book an Ola cab through Alexa
This transition though is not without its challenges. Given the diversity of languages and dialects in India, organisations will have to be extra cautious in how they deploy voice assistants.
However, if they are able to get the technology and the use case right, the rewards are immense.