Less than 2% of Echo owners have actually completed a purchase through Alexa, making clear that while voice interfaces are becoming a more integral part of consumer interactions, commerce-related use cases for these devices is still nascent. Consequently, brands and retailers are still figuring out where voice sits within their business models.

To secure visibility on Alexa and Google Home, Gartner L2’s report on voice commerce recommends several strategies. For example, investing in web advertising can help brands win the beloved “Amazon’s Choice” badge; products with this badge are frequently Alexa’s default recommendation. Additionally, as Gartner L2’s Amazon Intelligence research reveals, marketers should consider partnering with publishers to run paid promotions in Alexa’s skills section. This can further boost visibility, especially as media-focused skills outperform those from brands.

Voice commerce

While Google seems like a viable alternative to Amazon, it’s also pay-to-play for retailers, which often pass along the costs to brands. According to Google’s blog, brands and retailers that pay for Google’s Shopping Actions can insert product recommendations made by Google Assistant and streamline replenishable purchases by connecting user search history with account information. Both Walmart and Target, the top-performing retailers in terms of visibility on Google Home, ensure close integration with Google.

Overall, to create value for customers, marketers must view voice as part of a broader digital commerce strategy. Best-in-class players use voice-enabled devices to both make product discovery possible across multiple interfaces and encourage repeat purchases.

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