There are always new predictions on the Internet about what the future of marketing will look like and particularly often it is being forecasted that in 2020, which means this year, half of all online searches should be carried out with a voice assistant. However, such forecasts are problematic since Google and other providers of voice assistants do not reveal any meaningful usage figures or statistics on the proportion of voice searches. Hence, the actual percentage of voice searches cannot be clearly determined. In addition, one would have to differentiate between what is considered a search and what is a voice control of a device. Anyway, in the end, the question remains: “How relevant is voice search for online marketing - really?
By nature, the strength of voice assistants lies in executing clear commands and answering clear questions, such as "Where is the nearest supermarket?", "How long is it open?" - are generally not a problem and the assistants are happy to help. However, requests like e.g. “Google, choose an evening dress for me!” are rarely heard and those who already used a voice-controlled device to shop online, usually ordered products they already know. That is understandable - after all, there is nothing to prevent you from ordering your favorite coffee or detergent that you have been using for years conveniently and quickly via voice assistant. However, such loyal regular customers do not fall into the target group of marketers, because to increase conversion, usually detailed product information in the form of text, image and video material is the method of choice - the latter especially in the fashion and lifestyle sector.
When it comes to visual content, it is not just about the very own website, but social media and platforms are becoming more and more relevant, too. For instance, YouTube is seen as the most trustworthy, followed by Facebook. These channels have a particular impact on a younger target group: around 40% of the 18-24-year old abandon a purchase process if they do not have enough visual content available to get an idea of the goods. Marketers can also take advantage of this for multimedia content for shops. As an addition to constant basic information (price, dimensions, etc.), image and video content can be individually adapted to different target groups.
Product information provides customers with all relevant information - and ideally turns their customer journey into a real experience. However, if important details are missing, or there are no or incorrect images, this leads to frustrated customers and a lot of returns. Certainly, retailers want to avoid such a situation and should therefore rely on Product Information Management (PIM).
By Daniela La Marca