Shoppers want convenience in whichever form it comes. Add to that the rapidly broadening capabilities of voice-controlled personal assistants and smart speakers that now allow people to engage with them in human-like conversations… and you’ll understand why voice-powered retail shopping appears to be the next chapter, and undoubtedly the future of e-commerce.

Will the next few years witness an entirely new generation of conversational commerce?

The number of people using the capabilities of speech recognition and natural language processing while shopping is exponentially expanding. The numbers back up this claim. By the end of this year, about half of the 120 million U.S. households will possess a smart speaker with voice recognition technology – and about 35 million Americans will have shopped via a smart speaker. The voice shopping industry itself is set to jump to around $40 Billion within the next two years!

In order to capitalize on this revenue-driving growth opportunity, more and more retailers are trying to understand the voice of the consumer – quite literally.

There’s no reason to think that the flower industry will stay behind in as consumers start embracing the voice assistants.

smart speakerMany flower delivery companies have already started working on their end-to-end voice commerce offerings to allow buyers to order and pay for flowers via virtual assistant AIs such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant. So, to answer the question of whether there’s potential for conversational AI (Artificial Intelligence) when it comes to buying flowers online, the answer is a resounding yes!

You’ll soon be able to select and order flowers from an online catalog using voice-based interactions.

Within a few years, you’ll be able to simply ask your voice assistant device to open an app and state your preferences for color and species of flowers to design your bouquet. The voice app will also act as your personal shopper and recommend flowers based on your needs as well as the occasion. When you’ve found the right arrangement of flowers, you can have them delivered to anyone whenever you choose and then check out with an online payments processing service such as Amazon Pay, Google Pay or Apple Pay – all through one voice interaction. The presence of a display will also play an important role here. You wouldn’t want to pay for a bouquet if you can’t see how it looks first, would you? When using a screen device such as the Echo Show or Google Nest Hub, the flowers will be available to browse on screen, augmenting your buying experience.

The Last Word

Voice-activated shopping via smart home devices will undoubtedly take online shopping for flowers to the next comfort level. You can customize your bouquet and complete the purchase by using your voice rather than lifting a finger. If that doesn’t seem like a sci-fi dream come true, we don’t know what will.

Whether you are a grower, an importer, a wholesaler, or a retailer, how eager are you to jump into this emerging technology? Will you wait and watch, or will you jump right in?