When companies like Amazon and Google initially started to push voice technologies in the forms of Alexa and Google Home, they were, at best, met with skepticism and, on the downside, openly ridiculed. Today, voice commerce is a massively popular, rapidly expanding market, but the vulnerabilities in this still relatively new technology can leave users susceptible to hackers and security breaches.
By completely understanding how to adopt voice technologies securely, eCommerce businesses can take advantage of the escalation of voice integration to expand their reach and increase profits.
The Rise of Voice Assistants
Today, voice technology is far from a niche industry. Currently, 41% of all adults use voice search daily. Additionally, 50% of individuals who possess voice assistants such as Alexa or Siri have made a purchase using that voice technology within the past year.
The adoption rates for voice technologies have skyrocketed, particularly among the affluent, well-educated consumers, and they show no signs of slowing down. According to comScore, 50% of all searches will be made with voice by 2020.
Even more impressive, according to a 2017 study by Gartner, 30% of all searches made in 2020 will be made using only voice, with no screen involved. As a result of the number of consumers purchasing and using voice technology, sales of vocal assistants are expected to reach $40 billion by 2022 – an increase of well over 200% of the $1.8 billion in sales the voice technology industry made in 2017.
Voice search and voice technology, in general, is the next big thing, and eCommerce companies need to accommodate voice search in their businesses.
How eCommerce Companies Can Safely Adopt Voice Technologies
Despite their advantages, voice technology can lack security. This isn’t exactly surprising since newer technologies are always more vulnerable to cybercriminals. Voice technology platforms are particularly attractive targets because they’re very good at collecting data – the currency that cybercriminals sell to make a living.
Consumers have taken note of the vulnerability of voice technology. According to data from Worldpay, 75% of consumers worldwide reported concern that a voice-activated device in their possession could be hacked.
Cybersecurity and IT best practices are no longer subjects that businesses can choose not to address – 74% of consumers in 2018 reported that they would switch from a preferred brand to a more transparent brand.
For eCommerce companies interested in utilizing voice technologies, this means that such technologies must be adopted securely and transparently. While the security of voice technology platforms is still largely in the hands of their owners, there are steps eCommerce companies can take to make using such platforms safer, including:
- Having a specific name for brand “skills.” eCommerce companies interested in streamlining vocal purchasing for customers can create specific “skills” that customers can then ask voice assistants to use that will take that consumer to a purchasing portal or shop for your brand. Creating a hyperspecific name for such skills allows your brand to avoid becoming the target of voice technology phishing scams.
- Have consumers create vocal “fingerprints” (voiceprints) with which they can access skills. Vocal “fingerprints” act as passwords of sorts, locking down access if a cybercriminal attempts to access a skill using an incorrect phrase.
- Make consumers aware of the functions and security of their voice technologies. You won’t be able to make voice technology 100% secure, and it’s important to acknowledge that to your customers. By teaching them how to recognize voice technology phishing scams or other signs of hacking and make their voice technologies more secure using methods such as voiceprints, you empower them to take security into their own hands.
Through taking the steps above, eCommerce companies can securely adopt voice technologies, while simultaneously maintaining transparency with consumers.