Smart Speakers Bumping Commerce

by ULMag Editorial Team

Shuffling through a drawer in my kitchen for a piece of paper and pen, it was time to go shopping which means crafting a shopping list.

“Why don’t you tell Alexa to create your shopping list?” said my 73-year-old stepmom.

As one of the fastest growing daily users of smart speakers, the 60-plus demographic surpasses younger sets as they discover some conveniences that voice activated devices afford.

It is not solely the individual user who is bumping commerce with their smart speakers. The marketing forecast for 2020 has branded skills for smart speakers as a must-have.

A pair of Amazon Echo smart speakers can be connected to an Echo subwoofer for richer sound ($290, bundled price on
Voice it!

Smart speakers also referred to as voice assistant, connect the user with online resources that are enabled through a digital platform and activated by voice commands. Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s HomePod, and Google Home are a few of the leading options on the market.

Smart speakers are used by 66.4 million Americans, which is why marketers have taken notice. Users are expanding the information that they source through voice command technology, especially in the area of education, shopping, and purchasing.

Before you can browse, shop, or access nearly anything on a smart speaker, the function must be activated online. Functions are called “skills”. Once a skill is enabled it allows the user to access the resource with a simple voice command.

Branded Skills

Some leading brands are capitalizing on the growing use of smart speakers by creating branded skills. Manufacturers of household items, educational institutions, and the media, are lever-aging the technology.

For example, imagine you are cooking and your hands are messy. You mistakenly grabbed the baking powder instead of the baking soda when you were shopping and you want to know if you can substitute the baking powder. If so, what is the conversion rate?

The smart speaker may have this conversion readily available, but if you want to ensure that the information is reliable, you may want to hear what your trusted food channel website or cookbook has to say.

How do you do that? First, you enable the skill on your smart speaker app or platform. When you enable a skill linked to one of your trusted brands, you will have access to the resources and tips that they offer online.

Bumping Commerce, How?

Smart speakers allow businesses to establish a connection with a target audience that may not otherwise be available to them. One report stated that voice activated shopping tripled during the 2018 holiday season. Companies are studying this opportunity and determining the types of information that consumers desire most.

The biggest question in developing a branded skill is, “what will motivate my target consumer to activate it?” Once the skill is activated, and the connection is made, marketing pushes are more streamlined.

Consider the cooking scenario again. With the right programming, it is possible that a smart speaker could infer that your request for a conversion from baking soda to baking powder means that you are out of the needed product.

Once the speaker has provided the conversion information the speaker might ask, “would you like me to put Arm and Hammer baking soda on your shopping list?” The branded skill comes full circle with a marketing push that results in a purchase or elevates customer loyalty.


Imagine how a virtual assistant could make your home, school, or office run smoother. It’s worth discussing with a consultant to test your idea. Web developers and marketing agencies are your best resource to determine if a smart speaker application is feasible, and possibly monetizable.

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Contact Data

Name: Chris Jones

Organization: UrbanLink Media

Phone: 1-855-730-5465

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