3 reasons voice shopping in India is expected to double in 2022

The number of voice shoppers in the country may reach 168 million by the end of the year. Here's why the medium wins hearts but also creates concerns.

3 reasons voice shopping in India is expected to double in 2022

Stakeholders claim the popularity of voice commerce is growing at a fast clip in India. Simple technology that lets consumers do their shopping with voice commands and smart devices is emerging as a game-changer for retail and e-commerce brands.

The number of voice shoppers in India is expected to reach 168 million by the end of 2022, doubling in just a year's time, according to a fresh report by WATConsult, Dentsu India’s digital agency.

From a marketer's perspective, voice commerce is interesting, as it's an emerging path for brands to capture the active attention of consumers during the moment they are primed to make a purchase.

Below there are three reasons why voice shopping wins consumer hearts as well as key concerns people have about the tech itself.

The hands-free experience

HomePod mini in Blue.

Voice commerce offers a hands-free experience, allowing users to multitask while shopping. It doesn't require sophisticated skills or knowledge of cutting-edge hardware. All one has to do is to say a command.

Thanks to the emergence of voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri, many already feel familiar with the tech.

But in India, specifically, there is one unique challenge. There is a variety of different languages and dialects used across the country, and voice tech may struggle to understand all of these unique accents and intonations. Once this issue is solved, WATConsult expects usage to grow further.

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It's personalized

Paper bags with groceries including fruits and vegetables and bread

Voice interaction captures a shopper's behavior and habits with the use of artificial intelligence.

For example, when someone buys monthly groceries online, the voice assistant can make informed recommendtions and remind the shopper about products that were in the cart on a previous visit.

Brands can use this to provide a seamless shopping experience. But it’s also important to not go too far, as global consumers – Indians included – are largely concerned about their privacy. In fact, many do not feel comfortable having a voice assistant that’s always listening to private conversations in their home or office.

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It saves time

E-shoppers are getting used to voice-enabled tech that carries out simple searches. A voice search can process close to 100 words per minute, which allows results to be found faster than typing.

As many as 27% of voice shoppers feel that it's natural for them to interact with voice assistants while shopping online. One out of five said the tech also helps them to stay within a budget.

Still, there are customers who don't use voice assistants because they feel like they have little to no knowledge of what a voice assistant can do, how to use it, or if there are risks involved in doing so, the report showed.

WATConsult claims voice commerce is making its way into Indian shopping habits faster than ever. But to drive adoption further, brands need to make the tech more intuitive and interactive, especially in native dialects. They also need to better address privacy concerns and educate consumers.

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