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Monday, July 09, 2018

Buying By Voice Hard Sell for Consumers?

Thoughtful piece.   Yes, it does create a nervousness about making a mistake.  But if enough capabilities are included to attest to the credibility of a request, say with a pin number, and clear repetition of the proposed purchase, and a easy way to revoke the purchase are included in the interaction, people do get used to it.    Voice use in business is also increasing, making people yet more comfortable with the idea.

Shopping by Voice a Hard Sell for Consumers  in Strategy-Business

By Denise Dahlhoff, research director of the Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. ... 

AI-based voice communication has finally caught on, seven years after Apple’s Siri launch marked the first major step toward making it part of our daily lives. The recent introduction of Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition was the signal for me that voice technology is here to stay. Children are growing up talking to humanized devices as if it’s the most normal thing. My nieces matter-of-factly interact with Amazon’s Alexa all the time, getting “her” to play songs for their kitchen dance shows, checking math homework solutions, and asking Alexa fun questions. (“Are you a girl? Are you bold?”) When the 7-year-old learned that Alexa can shop, she jokingly said, “Alexa, buy me a TV.”

The idea of actually using Alexa to buy something is an unusual concept to her, which seems to be the case with much of the adult population, too. As of now, voice assistants are mainly used to access news, weather updates, and other information, and to play music and podcasts. But voice shopping hasn’t taken off. It is like a magic carpet with the potential to transport us instantly and conveniently to any shopping destination we can imagine, but part of the carpet is still stuck to the ground. The infrastructure of devices that support voice-assisted shopping has greatly expanded, but software components are underdeveloped. .... " 

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