The World Federation of Advertisers has launched a ‘Voice Coalition’, a new group spearheaded by Mastercard that will aim to help brands understand more about the impact voice will have on the way people shop.
Founded in partnership with Fast-Up Partners (FUP), the group has been created following research into the way consumers use voice-enabled assistants to guide their purchase decisions.
Based on 1,500 respondents in the US and UK, it found that 35% of those surveyed used voice to check prices, 30% use it to add items to their shopping list and 18% use it to add items to a cart/basket. A further 15% have gone on to use it to make a purchase.
The study also highlighted the impact voice assistants have on the wider purchase journey with 81% of those who had added an item to the cart ending up buying it later.
In the future, 67% see themselves using voice commerce for adding items to cart and 60% are willing to use it to purchase directly. More than two thirds (68%, rising to 81% among 16-34s) are willing to let Alexa recommend brands and 77% are happy for Alexa to recommend an appropriate Amazon brand.
The categories most affected by voice are electronics/technology (40%), food and groceries (47%) and petfood/petcare (31%).
Despite these numbers, WFA president and the chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard, Raja Rajamannar, said voice was a relatively low priority for many marketers.
“But when quizzed on upcoming priorities, 55% of WFA members say voice will be big – and on par with influencer marketing. Given voice commerce goes well beyond marketing, it’s going to be of major strategic importance to companies going forward”, he added.
Mastercard has been gradually investing in this area. It recently introduced a ‘sonic brand’, a trademarked sound which is now used across all its marketing and point of sale, and this week (17 June) released its first voice assistant skill which will offer users experiences through Amazon or Google smart speakers.
The Coalition will aim to improve knowledge and understanding for brand marketers across all voice platforms.
“Voice offers a huge opportunity and this initiative will help brand owners develop a greater understanding of voice through bespoke research, support and knowledge sharing,” said Frederic Colas, chief executive at Fast-Up Partners.