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By Alan Coleman on 19 Mar 2018

Smart assistants are growing in popularity with nearly all the major tech companies of the world throwing their hat in the ring. The Google Home is powered by Google Assistant, Apple's Homepod brings a quality speaker and Apple's Siri together in your sitting room while Amazon has several Alexa powered devices including the Echo. This has left many commentators believing that voice is the future of search and that it'll actually replace it completely. In this Wolfgang Bite, Al answers "will voice kill search".

Wolfgang Bites: Watch Alan Answer "Will Voice Kill Search?"

Wolfgang Bites: Listen as Alan Answers "Will Voice Kill Search?"

Wolfgang Bites: Read the Transcription of Alan Answering "Will Voice Kill Search?"

Will voice kill search? So, a lot of media commentators are saying that the days of search or maybe screen search are over and voice search is going to dominate retail going forward. So, I spent a lot of sleepless nights staring at the ceiling, and wondering and worrying will this be the case. What I've come to, is that I think this notion that voice will kill search is absolute bull. 

There are three core e-commerce truths that tell me that this is the case. Number one is visuals. As the web has become more visual, conversion rates have increased. Number two is selection and as a retailer adds more selection and gives a consumer more choice, conversion rates increase. Number three is, what's technology supposed to do? It's supposed to make our lives easier. It takes people up to four times longer to consume data by listening than it does by reading or looking at images. 

When you put these three core e-commerce traits together, I find it really difficult to believe that voice search without a screen will kill screen search. Ain't nobody buying shorts, skirts or sunglasses this way. Think of how you feel when you're in your bank and you get the recorded message talking you through options. Nobody enjoys that experience. I think this prediction is wide of the mark. I just don't see us ordering or shopping that way.

However, what's really curious here and the Wolfgang Bite on it is that tens of millions of consumers have welcomed a listening device from an e-commerce merchant into their homes. Not only have they welcomed this but they've actually paid for the privilege of having this e-commerce listening device in their homes. So, I believe that the Echo, the Amazon Echo, the Alexa, these are actually the great 21st century Trojan Horse and that's the genius of Amazon in motion.

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