The e-commerce industry has exploded in recent years and was worth a total of 1.6 trillion US dollars in 2015, according to eMarketer. It has a trend that has grown across the commerce segment, and now includes everything from brick-and-mortar giants to online only stores, to mom and pop stores with increasingly wide-range of simple apps that cater to all imaginable e-commerce needs.
This surge in e-commerce has left storeowners and customers heavily reliant on online text based communications. There is even a newly emerging trend of “conversational commerce” which has already taken off in China and allows customers to purchase anything from food to taxis from the comfort of messaging apps like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. This trend is already expanding, and industry experts predict it will grow substantially in 2016.
And within this world of e-commerce, text isn’t just important for the purchasing process, it is also the backbone of most e-commerce stores’ credibility since text reviews on products and services are what really make or break today’s businesses. According to research, roughly 90% of customers will make their choice on a product or service based on online reviews. Traditional advertising and recommendations have become passé, and customers are increasingly relying on the wisdom of the crowd.
And yet, there is a very real problem with text communications when it comes to e-commerce (and in general). Communicating through text alone loses the “human” element of shopping, of interacting with storeowners and salespeople. Text takes away the personal touch from a customers shopping experience. And more than that, it is also fundamentally ambiguous in a way that face-to-face communication is not.
So what can we do? Thankfully there is a new wave of e-commerce communications that can help put back this personal element, and this new wave is voice. Today, e-stores can escape the limitations of text by using voice based reviews and comments to communicate about their products and services. This allows for a unique combination of the offline and online forms of shopping – as a customer today, you can enjoy all the personal interactions of offline shopping without all the inconveniences of queues, products being out of stock etc.
Voice is the new face-to-face mode of communication for e-stores today since it enables storeowners to have meaningful interactions with clients from across the world. Voice also allows customers to have a real conversation with salespeople, storeowners and even other customers, and avoid the pitfalls and ambiguities of text. Fundamentally, it is a more compelling medium, and research has already shown that customers rate sites and products more favorably if they feature voice rather than text alone.
In a world of e-commerce that is increasingly crowded, voice is a way to stand out. And it also makes customers lives easier, even when they are on the go. Today voice comments and reviews can be recorded, posted and shared from customers mobile phones, allowing for hassle free face-to-face style communications.
And last but not least, voice is a way to feel that communications are more “authentic”. In a world that is increasingly full of fake profiles, spammers and scammers, hearing a real voice rather than seeing yet more bot-generated text can make all the difference.
Heyoya is a unique comment and reviews platform that brings voice to e-commerce and allows eStores to really stand out from the crowd by bringing back the face-to-face elements of communications. Using Heyoya can unite the online and offline worlds of commerce by allowing eStore owners to record and upload sales pitches, greetings and more, and to engage in meaningful conversations with customers.
For more information about Heyoya, or to start using Heyoya for free today, click here.