Event Preview: Ethan Goodman on Voice Shopping

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Event Preview: Ethan Goodman on Voice Shopping

By Institute staff - 02/16/2018

Brands need to create a solid strategy for reaching consumers who are consistently shopping via voice-enabled personal assistants, a number that is increasing as more consumers become comfortable using artificial intelligence and retail giants like Walmart and Target build relationships with Google Home.

On March 14, Ethan Goodman, Senior Vice President, Shopper Experience, The Mars Agency, will team up with Rob Ciaffaglione, Team Leader, Shopper & Customer Marketing, Beiersdorf to share best-in-case examples of utilizing voice shopping in a seminar titled "Alexa, Buy Now: The Rise of Voice Shopping," at the Path to Purchase Summit (P2PSummit). Attendees will learn how innovative brands and retailers have already begun to test voice shopping capabilities, using the technology as an opportunity to drive revenue.

We recently had a chance to speak with Goodman and learn more about his take on the future of voice shopping in retail. 

With the recent rise of voice shopping, what are some opportunities for marketers in particular?
Brands can build Amazon Alexa Skills or Google Assistant Actions, which are effectively applications for voice. Plus, they can offer exclusive discounts via Alexa Deals and begin optimizing their product listings for organic voice search.

Conversely, what are some of the current challenges marketers face to using voice shopping?
Scale is a big one – consumer interest in voice is growing exponentially, but the user base is still relatively small. Beyond that, it’s not especially natural for users to invoke a branded Skill or Action, so some level of awareness and “training” is required. And right now, despite recent reports, there’s not a paid advertising model in place on any of the major platforms that brands can leverage.

What retailers and brands have begun testing voice shopping capabilities? 

On the brand side, the ones that jump out immediately are Campbell’s and Eucerin Skincare, both of which have built Alexa Skills and are experimenting with Alexa Deals. On the retailer side, mass merchants have been slower to adapt because of the obvious conflict with Amazon. But players like Starbucks and Domino’s have done a nice job and it’ll be really interesting to see how Walmart’s and Target’s partnership with Google unfolds. 

How do you see voice shopping evolving in the next five years?

We think voice will be the predominant digital shopping interface within the next five years. It’s just easier for shoppers to speak than it is for them to click or swipe to buy, and generally the best user experience wins out.

To learn more about Elston’s session at P2PSummit, click here.