The voice assistant industry has come into its own. In 2019, the industry hit a high watermark with 147 million voice-capable speakers and devices sold worldwide. In absolute terms, that means 20% of the world’s population is actively using devices with voice search functions in their day-to-day lives. More importantly, consumer awareness is at an all-time high with a majority of the population having at least a cursory understanding of just how powerful voice-aided searches can be. Now is the time for merchants and other e-commerce professionals to go full tilt, embracing the changing consumer mindset and integrating voice functions into their online storefronts.
Taking the steps to harness the power of voice commerce can help you future-proof your business, keeping you at the edge of profitability even as voice technology matures. Once you have integrated voice into your storefront, the question becomes, “How do I properly advertise it?” Below is a curated collection of tips and best industry practices to help get your Alexa skill in front of potential customers.
Market saturation has unfortunately become a prominent side effect of Alexa’s rapidly growing popularity. As of 2020, there are more than 100,000 Alexa skills available worldwide. More than 70,000 of those originate from developers and retailers within the United States. Skills function like apps, or better yet, routines that direct Alexa on how to interact during specific situations. While it has become easier than ever to set up your own Alexa skill, it’s become exponentially harder to get your skill noticed on the Amazon skill store. Here are some important techniques to help get your storefront’s skill noticed.
The first step towards increasing the visibility of your skill is to engage in good, old-fashioned branding. When listing your skill with Amazon, it is essential to name it something that customers will easily remember, something that resonates with them. The name should be novel, it should accurately reflect the skill’s function, and it should contain some device or repetitive sound that sticks in your customer’s memory.
Understanding the true importance of your skill’s name, it helps to think about how people search for things online. Unless they are already familiar with your brand from an outside marketing source, they are much more likely to search by topic, keyword, or concept. Your skill’s name needs to take a page out of the SEO professional’s playbook.
People are visual creatures. We’re attracted to looks long before content. Each Alexa skill listed on the skill store has an accompanying graphic called an icon. Choosing a visually striking icon is essential in order to grab your customers’ attention and funnel them toward your skill’s download page. In other words, make sure your logo is visually appealing and well-designed.
Customers have to understand exactly what your skill does if you want them to download it. When they are browsing through the Amazon skill store, they can see a brief description of your skill and its function. When writing your description, make sure to be clear, concise, and deliver a “What’s in it for me?” statement that communicates value to potential customers.
Social media continues to be a robust marketing opportunity. Whether you are interacting via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or a newer platform, social media, in general, is a great way to speak to other people about the benefits and features of your skill and your voice storefront. Social media broadens your brand’s visibility.
Social media isn’t just composed of major networking apps. Don’t forget about online forums like Reddit, or more specialized, industry-specific boards. Online forums present an incredible opportunity to connect directly with your customer base. By successfully utilizing message boards to advertise your skill, you’ll gain unprecedented market penetration for your voice commerce business.
According to McKinsey, marketing efforts through email are up to 40% more effective than marketing executed solely on social media. Thank advancing technology for that. People have greater access to their email than ever before via mobile device, and many check it multiple times a day. Engaging in an email marketing campaign is still a tried-and-true method for getting your product in front of potential clients.
When dealing with a digital, e-commerce derivative like voice shopping, it’s easy to forget about hardcopy advertising methods. Think outside the box; have information or a link to your skill printed on your physical business card in order to increase your visibility professionally.
While there are lots of low or no-cost advertising alternatives, sometimes the best strategy is to call in a professional. Google Ads gives you the ability to insert your product advertisement into search results for a moderate, pay-per-click cost. When all else fails, launch a formal campaign to drive downloads.
No matter what method you choose, make sure to create a landing page to accompany your skill. That landing page should be designed with good SEO (search engine optimization) practices in place to help drive your visibility in Google search results. The page itself should be filled with helpful, quality content related to your skill and a link back to your Amazon page. This gives potential customers an alternate, highly-visible route to download your Alexa app.
Voice shopping is the next evolution of e-commerce. Aided by a voice assistant, like Amazon’s Alexa, the voice search functions of a home speaker or a mobile device are capable of helping busy customers shop in your virtual storefront hands-free. The Rep platform allows them to browse your catalog, compare products, and even compile reviews, both positive and negative, from across the web. Rep can help you launch your voice commerce business. To find out more about the Rep platform, please contact us today for a free demo.
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