Episode 107

Voice Commerce - What’s New, What’s Next and How to Get Ready

Anmol Oberoi - Emitrr
February 19, 2020
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There are over 150 million Alexa devices in use today.  Google has sold upwards of 50 million of its Google Home devices.  While most devices are used primarily to listen to music or play games or control appliances like lights and heat and air…voice commerce is on the rise too.

In this episode I interview Anmol Oberoi the Founder and CEO of Emitrr - a voice-first SaaS Platform.  We dive into voice commerce use-cases that are making an impact now.  We also talk about where voice commerce is likely heading in the near future.  Here’s a quick look at what we discuss:

  • How games and quizzes through voice can benefit eCommerce companies
  • What voice skills to develop and launch first and how to use customer feedback to make sure you’ll have high adoption rates
  • What are the most popular voice skills that customers want right now 
  • How voice can build loyalty and put a “fence” around your top customers keeping competitors away
  • How smart devices with screens like the Echo Show and Google’ Nest Hub might make the biggest shopping impact right away

Connect with Guest:

Anmol Oberoi - Founder and CEO at Emitrr

 Via LinkedIn

 Via Facebook

 Via Twitter

 Via Instagram

Emitrr - Giving Voice to Businesses

Via LinkedIn

Via Facebook

Via Twitter

Via YouTube


Mentioned in this episode:

Alexa Newsletter - Amazon Developer


Episode Transcript

Brett:

Well hello, and welcome to another edition of the e-commerce evolution podcast. I am your host Brett Curry, CEO of OMG Commerce. Today we're talking about a topic that is bright and shiny and up and coming. I think it's going to have a big impact on the future of commerce. It's having an impact now. So we're talking about voice commerce and voice first activities that lead to commerce. And if you're paying attention at all to the news, if you're reading trade publications, if you're following Gary V, you know that there's a lot of people that are very bullish on voice. I am one of those. We are an Alexa household. I believe at last count we have eight Alexa devices. We'll talk about that in a little bit, but I think this is a trend that will continue. And so we're going to be talking about today, what is here and now, what you can leverage now from a voice commerce perspective to grow your business. What is likely coming in the future and what do you need to be thinking about?

Brett:

Hey, e-commerce evolution listeners, Brett Curry here. I have a really cool announcement and an invite just for you. In February, OMG Commerce is hosting an exclusive invite only event at the Google and YouTube offices in Los Angeles. Now, if you've never experienced a Google office, they really do live up to the hype, and the Google offices in LA are some of the most unique around. More on the venue in a minute. First, let me give you the scoop on the event itself. It's called YouTube ads for e-commerce building full funnel growth with YouTube ads. I'll be speaking at this event, sharing some of our best YouTube ads strategies, some of our most successful YouTube ad templates and more. And you'll get to hear directly from some amazing YouTube team members, including some incredible content from the unskippable labs team. I've seen this content before, and it's amazing.

Brett:

I'm so excited about this event, but here's the best part. It's free, but it is invite only and you do have to apply and be approved to attend because seating is limited. So sorry, no agencies, no service providers, this is just for eCommerce companies. Now as promised more about the venue. This will be held at the Spruce Goose Hangar. This hangar was initially built by the mogul Howard Hughes. And if you've ever seen the movie, The Aviator with Leonardo DiCaprio, then you know all about Howard Hughes and his Spruce Goose. This hangar was recently renovated in true Google fashion. Now it's a cutting edge YouTube studio and Google offices, and that's where we're holding this event. It's going to be amazing. So to find out more, to check out the application, go to OMG commerce.com forward slash YouTube dash event. Again, that's OMG commerce.com forward slash YouTube dash event. I'll also link to the event page in the show notes of this show and I hope to see you in LA.

Brett:

My guest today is the founder and CEO of Emitrr, E-M-I-T, double R, Anmol Oberoi and they are a voice first SAS platform specializing in voice commerce, and so really excited to have Anmol on the show today and really thrilled to be diving into this topic. And so Anmol, how you doing? Welcome to the show and thanks for coming on.

Anmol:

Thanks a lot of Brett for having me. And thanks a lot for introducing Emitrre and our platform. I'm really excited to be here and share my learnings with the audience.

Brett:

Yeah, really exciting. And so let's paint the picture just a little bit for the audience. I mean obviously, we all know about Alexa devices and Google home devices and I think Apple has some devices. I don't know who's using those. I'm an Apple guy by the way, but I just, Google and Amazon have a huge lead over Apple in this space. But, talk to us, what are some stats? What are some things we need to be considering about the prevalence of voice first devices?

Anmol:

Absolutely. I think that's the really exciting part about voice and where the trend is moving from a web first to a mobile first and now to a voice first sort of approach. So just to give you some sense of how big things have already become from penetration perspective, I would say that if I have to just pick up an Alexa, they are close to 115 million devices just in the U S alone today. And every time I look up that stat to refresh my memory that what's the number that stat is continuously growing. And if you look at the population of US, which is 300 billion people, you have about 50% of the population. That means that almost, that essentially means that each home has at least one or more smart speakers. So if I had to think of it from a business perspective, then there is a huge, huge opportunity laying there for businesses, because Amazon's done a great job of creating a channel by placing a smart speaker in every home in the US.

Brett:

Yeah. And it's so interesting because one, I think, and then we're going to, we're going to dive into some really interesting stuff today on what are some use cases right now that you could be considering and using for your business. We'll speculate about where this is going. Ultimately, nobody knows fully, right? Nobody would have predicted just prior to the iPhone or just after the iPhone, what that would exactly do for mobile commerce. No one really knew, right? You got to see how it kind of plays out. But I think it's interesting, and I'll just, I'll share a couple of tidbits from our home. And so we have eight devices, so we're helping inflate those numbers. But we do have an echo show, which is the screen and it's bass speaker's amazing. And so we use that a lot.

Brett:

What I found, and so here's how we're using Alexa as it pertains to e-commerce. I am using it to reorder a lot, right? So I know we'll, we'll talk about that some, but you know, I'll be in the kitchen making breakfast and say, Alexa, reorder my protein powder and Alexa will say, "Hey, there are three things that fit your order history, which one is it?" And I'll say number one and then and then get my code and ordered. So I don't have to break stride at all in making my breakfast and protein powder is on the way. I've also used it, and I don't how common this is, I think it's less common, but I've also been in the kitchen and hanging out using the Alexa show or Echo show and I'll say, "Alexa, I want to buy a a pH water tester."

Brett:

We had to test our water recently, so literally it'll give several examples, and so then I can pick one and buy it. And really seamless and interesting, and I bought several things that way and when you get used to that, you think I can say something a lot faster than I can type it. I can hear and say yes, no, this option, that option a lot faster than, or I can multitask rather than sitting down and using my phone. And so lots of good use cases. I know we'll kind of dive into those. But do you have any stats or any insights? It seems like still most of the usage for these devices is, "Hey Alexa or okay Google, play the Rolling Stones or place a Beatles or play whatever." That's certainly how we use it more in our home. But yeah, what are some of the trends in how these devices are being used for commerce specifically?

Anmol:

Sure, absolutely. For me firstly, it's very surprising to see that you're already shopping on Alexa, I think your early mover. But as far as-

Brett:

I want to experiment and I'm nerdy and I don't mind if I buy the wrong thing on occasion. I just want to try it, you know?

Anmol:

Yeah, that's perfect. We need more of you. So to talk about stats a little bit about where things are as of today. I'll probably take a step back and let's say look at the web world and the mobile world in its early days. When the mobiles came out, everybody was really creating content, looking at games, looking at engagement. And that's what's also happening in Alexa. Mostly businesses are not present there. It's mostly content creators. It's mostly brands who, who lived it, who basically build their business on top of content. And it's essentially people who love games, right?

Anmol:

So people are buildings that's sort of use cases. And given that what's happening from a creator perspective, that's exactly what's happening from a usage perspective as well. So if look at usage, the highest possible use case that's being used today's asking a simple question. For example, asking Alexa, what's the weather today? Or simply, just the way you said playing music. So essentially it's just being used to do very simple search and rarely to consume content and you know, sort of use it for entertainment. But 64% of people in America said that they at least used it once to shop something or tried shopping something.

Anmol:

So essentially-

Brett:

One interesting side note here that I'll interject. The more we use the voice devices, the more we see, "Oh wow, it'll do that?" So just as an example, my 16 year old daughter has a boyfriend, boyfriend was going to be coming over this past weekend at the time of recording it. We're not too far past the pro bowl, which I don't understand why anyone wants to the pro bowl, but, but nevertheless. The boyfriend's watching the pro bowl, he was coming over after the pro bowl and so she asked, "Alexa, how much time was left in the pro bowl?" Alexis said, "There's four minutes and 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter." So it's stuff like that, as you start to see, "Okay, I can get all of these answers, real time things that are happening right now answers." The more you do that, then the more comfortable you become buying things.

Brett:

And I think what's really interesting and last thing I'll kind of say about, or maybe the last thing I'll say about kind of kids in the younger generation. You know we've got, we've got these kids that are growing into millennials and gen Z that have grown up with a mobile device and now voice devices are there as well and they're doing things intuitively and they're doing things that that older generations probably aren't even considering doing. And it's going to shape commerce for the years to come, which is exciting.

Anmol:

Absolutely spot on. Because I grew up in a mobile first world where I do everything on the mobile, because I grew up with the mobile. Unlike my parents or my great grandparents who probably did not have mobile access from the time they went to school or college because there was no mobile at that time. Like you look at millennials today, they are growing up in a voice world, because they have access to Alexa. That's the first thing they interact with at home. So essentially, that's the trend that's going to grow faster and faster and probably commerce will soon, not 100%, but we'll have a lot of business being done on voice.

Brett:

Yep. So you can figure it out now. You're really good at it now than in you know, five, 10 whatever the case may be, when voice commerce is really big, you'll be in great position to fully capitalize on that. There's plenty of opportunities now to succeed as well.

Anmol:

Absolutely.

Brett:

Fantastic. So, so what are some of the, what are some of the use cases you guys are seeing, specific to commerce where voice has having an impact now?

Anmol:

Sure. I think that's a great question, because one thing that I really share with everybody when I speak to customers prospects is that you need to think of it from a perspective that it's very different from web where you have a lot of real estate. In voice, you essentially don't have any real estate. So there are a lot of things that you need to take care of. For example, context. You said when you were in the kitchen and you want to order for protein, that's the scenario or that's the environment you are in that's making you buy that because you essentially don't have access to web or your laptop, and that's what we buy because that's when you're more comfortable with voice.

Anmol:

So understanding that behavior in building use cases is something that is doing very well right now. So just to give you some quick examples, one thing is if I had to talk only from an eCommerce perspective. Again, if you look at a customer journey on the web, people first interact with the brand through some sort of content or through ads, purchase something and then they want to track the order, what they've bought.

Anmol:

Similarly, the behavior to purchase is not there, but the behavior to sort of engage with brands is still there, and the behavior to track those things through voice system. So the two use cases that we've seen do the new vendors. If eCommerce businesses can sort of build games or quizzes on top of Alexa, because game is already approved in your voice. So if you've built that, you've built brand loyalty on voice for your customers.

Brett:

Can you give some examples that, the quiz thing makes sense. Well, I know you're talking about that. And then can you give examples of games that that commerce companies have built?

Anmol:

Absolutely. So I don't remember which commerce company built this, but there's a game called price it right. Essentially, what it does is, it lets people play a play game to identify the price of the product, and the person who closes to the price wins an award or wins that award. So it becomes a reward, or a loyalty angle in eCommerce, which is huge because they can then use that discount or that loyalty either to buy on voice again or to buy on web. So you're bringing back that customer by using voice as a channel. It's not always about direct transactions on voice, but it could simply be used to bring back customers. And that's, that's what's really important for businesses today because it's getting harder and harder to get new customers. So they use it for rewards.

Brett:

Yeah. And then, and then quizzes, how have you seen quizzes being used for commerce companies?

Anmol:

Based on a lot of this stuff. For example, people, I've not seen anyone but, but one of the companies that we work with, which is a pet store and they wanted to enable repeat orders in Alexa. They wanted a quiz to let people guess, they would give them clues about a product. So let's say it's a pet food, it's some dog food. So they would give them clues about the dog food and ask the people on Alexa to guess the name of the product by giving them clues. So that's, that's another interesting angle because that gives people glued to keep thinking that "Hey, what does this product?" Because they've used the product themselves and, and you're during the quiz, you're giving them clues.

Brett:

Interesting. Interesting. So those are definitely interesting use cases. They don't sound like they're currently mass appeal use cases. And I think one of the issues, we talked about younger people as they get used to using voice devices, they start just dreaming of ways to use it. But you know, if I'm shopping with, I do a decent amount of buying of things I see on Instagram or on YouTube. And so purchased this cereal that is kind of keto friendly and healthy. I love cereal, but I stopped eating it because it makes you fat, especially when you relate. And so, I like shopping for this, and I don't know the particular company that I buy this cereal from, I don't know if they have a skill for Alexa or a skill for Google Home or something like that. So I probably wouldn't even think about it. How do you promote your skill? How do you get people thinking about voice commerce for your specific brand?

Anmol:

Sure. So let's assume that you're able to get your skill out there in the market. You're able to have your voice presence. The customers that we work with have seen great success with Ebay specific things and things like for example, on the checkout page, if it's a repeat order, we know that the customer wants to repeat the same thing again. So one thing that we tried and it worked really well was that as soon as a customer checks out on your checkout page, after they've completed the transaction, you show them a call to action saying that repeat this order next time with Alexa or the Peters for the next time with voice. So that they know and that'll lead to people installing the skill and then using it. And then there are a lot of different other ways that you see people putting a push notification on their website saying shop with voice. Yeah, that's worked very well again.

Brett:

love it. Totally makes sense. So, so you talked about, you talked about games and quizzes. And like I said, I personally, I think that's a smaller use case. But you have several other examples that I think man, that's valuable right now and with a lot of people. And so can you talk about, I know you've got several examples, I think one from a pet food company and one from a men's clothing store and a few others. But what are some other really popular voice use cases right now?

Anmol:

Oh, from a shopping perspective?

Brett:

From a shopping perspective.

Anmol:

I think coffee is definitely a great use case, because if you look at coffee companies and if you look at flavors, people build a taste for things and people don't necessarily change that. And why I'm saying this is because one of our customers, which is a coffee store, ES Beverage based out of New York, and you know what's really funny, and I really want to talk about it because today there's marketing with Alexa skill on Times Square saying that we can say, 'Alexa, order coffee from ES Beverage." So coffee, anything that's grocery because.... Any consumables because you tend to repeat those things again and again. Medicines is something that we've seen people repeat on the spot. Although we don't have any customers who's in the medical space, but coffee, pet food, confectionery and groceries, something definitely that where we work with customers for repeat orders.

Brett:

So re repeat order, I think that to me is probably the clearest use case that is one very beneficial. It's easy to get the word out. You'll have a decent adoption from people that are used to using voice devices. It's a real benefit and it's going to impact the business, right? You're going to potentially increase your reorder rate because you've got that skill. What else? What else in the commerce space and and it can be before the sale, after the sale. What other use cases are you saying right now for voice?

Anmol:

So yeah, there are a lot of use cases before and after the sale. Before the sale. there's definitely deals, and that's the biggest use case for Amazon today. Everybody checks for deals before shopping. And Amazon is very aggressively promoting that use case but their own store. So every time you ordered something from Amazon and if you look at the packaging carefully, they have the packaging that says just ask Alexa for deals today.

Anmol:

So that's a use case that works again really, really well for-

Brett:

Alexa. Alexa, what are the deals on the day type of thing.

Anmol:

Absolutely. Absolutely. So if you say that, Amazon will, it'll by default active the Amazon skill and tell you the deals. But let's say for example it's a coffee company, then you just need to take the brand name and it'll tell you the deals from that store. Store locations, sometimes people want to know what are the closest store locations close to them. So that's another use case. Post purchase, what we've seen is order tracking is something that works really well, because people still want to track the orders. And to be perfectly honest, the use case for order tracking today, how it has done is actually broken, because you need to go back to the web. You need to enter your details and find that out.

Brett:

Yeah, you got to yo log in or you get to click the email and the email links to USPS or to UPS or something. It's a real pain. You got to have a reason for, I mean everybody's wondering when it's going to show up, but you got to have a reason for, this has to be here by this time or else I'm in trouble type of thing for me to go through the hassle of actually tracking that shipment because it's a pain in the butt.

Anmol:

Absolutely. And that's where voice is really making it easy, because just the way we've done it and we are vocal on test Shopify app for this is that we've integrated with everybody basically 800 plus delivery partners, and whenever somebody wants to track the status of their order, they just need to say what's the status of my last order. They don't really need to feed in any number or go back to the website and track that.

Brett:

Beautiful. I absolutely love that. Yeah, that's great because that solves a real problem, right? We all want to know what the status of our order is. You don't want to go through the hassle of checking emails, clicking on tracking numbers, getting to some delivery company's site and then trying to figure it out. So that, that's super interesting. One thought that I just kind of had that I want to bring up and get your input on. So whenever I'm shopping with voice, it's almost always in the kitchen and it's always with our Echo Show. So the echo show has the nice rich screen and it's got an amazing speaker. Part of the reason that I use that is because it's in the kitchen and that's what I'm thinking and doing and stuff and ordering. But also, it is nice having that combination of voice and screen. And so I don't know if you've got any insights there, if you've seen any data, if you just have any commentary or thoughts. Because what happens with that is I'll use the example of the water kit.

Brett:

So we had some insight that maybe our water was high pH and so you know I was hanging out in the kitchen and I said, "Hey Alexa, order a pH test kit." and it showed three examples. And the nice thing was I could see those examples, I could see the reviews under it and then I can just say, "Order number three." So it's still all done through voice, but I got some visuals there. To me, that seems like for shopping, especially if you're shopping for something new, that's going to be pretty powerful where you've got that voice skill that's working its magic and you're doing everything by voice, but you've got the visual to kind of help make sure, "Hey, this is what I want." Any insights or thoughts on that?

Anmol:

I completely agree with you, and what I would classify it into is that the screen is the conversion optimization tool there. You can look better because people get a sense of comfort and with time, when they become more and more confident with voice, then probably they will not be so worried about seeing it on the screen. But today, it's very much needed, and even when we talk to customers or even when we look at search in the market, people do want to build multimodal experiences, which is they don't just want to have it with the voice, they also want to have it on the Echo Show.

Brett:

Or the Google Home or whatever. And I think the key is, so as an example, go back to the water testing kit. I don't care what that thing looks like. So I guess that would be one of those things whereas I become more comfortable with voice, I could say, "Hey, order a pH kit." And Alexa or Google Home could say this was the number one rated product. It does this, this and this is that, is that what you want? Sire, get it. Whereas if I'm buying a new pair of sneakers or something or a shirt or something... And then that's probably, honestly apparel is probably something that's going to be adopted via voice later, I would think. Or if, it may not even be adopted at all, but something where I need to see what it looks like. But that's where the different modality and that conversion optimization with the screen is going to be, it's going to be important.

Anmol:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Completely agree with you.

Brett:

Yep. Yep. Fantastic. So what should e-commerce companies be thinking about? So, let's say I own a five to $10 million eCommerce store and we're selling skincare as an example. What should I be thinking about? What should I be considering now? What skills should I consider building out and using now? What should be on my radar for a few months down the road, a few years down the road? What advice would you give?

Anmol:

Sure. So the best segues that I would be able to give at this point is again, the one that I've got from my customers and, and for people who we've already built. The mistakes that we've made, the mistakes that they've made by being early. So I was trying to build everything with. What I would say is that even if you're at a five or a $10 million, you're pretty large already. And if I had to compare it to most Shopify stores, I don't think most of them do that.

Brett:

Absolutely. That's definitely above the norm.

Anmol:

Absolutely, so you already have a large audience. Start with very simple use cases where you start getting them on voice, just the way we spoke about games, quizzes, deals, rewards, you know, things like that. Or maybe auto tracking because, you have a large audience and you want to get them started with very easy use cases and see does it really work. And if they're happy and they're confident and you're just trying to build trust in the use case, then probably do a quick survey saying, how did you like our voice capabilities so far? We are thinking of launching the ordering capability or the shopping capability. Would you be interested? That's, that's exactly what we did with the pet store. And when we did the survey, more than 80% of people said that they would be okay. Although, I mean not everybody-

Brett:

The reorder, the reorder functionality?

Anmol:

Right, because we didn't give them the reorder functionality as the first step. We gave them the functionality to consume content or to just grab some information that they're looking for. And, and once they became comfortable with that and they were confident that yes, this works, that's when we told them that, "Hey, we're thinking of making shopping also easy, would you be interested?" So that's how I would plan it out. That look at it like a product roadmap just the way you do it on your eCommerce website. This is very, very similar to that. It's a journey, so start with very simple use cases, engage user risk, talk to customers, figure out what works and then we'll use cases like that.

Brett:

I love that. I love that. Start with something simple, something that works, something that's going to be either fun and enjoyable or useful. And then as you get some adoption there, ask your customers, right, ask them what they want, what would they use, what would be useful. I love that approach. Here's one of the reasons I'm excited about voice and why I think it's potentially very powerful for a merchant. I think this is part of the reason why Amazon is so excited about it, probably lots of reasons. It could be because they just want to listen in to all our homes. It is funny, my eight year old daughter, she is always unplugging the Alexa device. We use the Alexa as a Intercom system in our home. Our eight-year-old's always in plugging in because she's creeped out by Alexa listening and, and she's probably right, honestly.

Brett:

But aside from that, aside from Bezos wanting to listen into what we're doing in our homes. If I say, "Hey, reorder my protein powder, reorder my cereal." There's no option for a competitor to come in and swipe me away. So now, if I've bought this product from Alexa, or I'm sorry, if I bought this product from Amazon and I go search for it on Google, potentially serves another ad, something else, I will be served another ad. Something will pop up that may make me say, "Hmm, maybe I'll try that one instead. That looks kind of cool. Maybe I won't buy this one on Amazon. I'll buy it somewhere else."

Brett:

That's eliminated when you say reorder through your voice device. That's powerful for the independent merchant as well, if you can get someone just to reorder using your voice skill. Then us marketers, us diabolical marketers, we can't swipe away your customer because there's no opportunity there. lots of ways to, as you're building convenience, you're building loyalty, you're also building kind of a fence around your customer potentially too that can be, it can really work to your advantage. Other use cases that you're seeing for commerce companies right now? Other interesting things that you're seeing right now or or interesting things that are right on the horizon for eCommerce companies?

Anmol:

Right. It's a slightly funny use case but it's probably not every eCommerce company wants but returns is something that's really painful for customers because it's hard to figure out.

Brett:

But because it's painful, that limits purchases. There's that seed of doubt saying, "Hey there's a probability I'm going to have to return this. That's going to be painful. I just won't buy it."

Anmol:

Absolutely, completely agree with you there. we undertones is a very full use case on waste because if you wanted it on something you have to go back into the website or read the return policy and things like that. And it's hard by the nature of the use case itself. What if you could just initiate a return by telling Alexa? "Hey, initiate a return from store ABC." And we came across this use case in a really interesting scenario of a rental company that we were talking to. For them, returns-

Brett:

What kind of company?

Anmol:

It was a rental company. For them. Returns is about growth in business. Somebody returns something because they want to rent something else again. So it's return and rent, return and rent. And they said that returns is equivalent to growth in business for us, and that's when we started thinking that "Hey, probably returns is also a good use case for companies that really want to make their customer's life easy while returning, and what better than having it on voice?"

Brett:

Yep, totally makes sense. I like that a lot. Any anything you would predict is coming down the pike here soon or in the next months, years, whatever? How do you see voice evolving?

Anmol:

I think learning what's the biggest shift that's going to happen. Because we, I probably did not mention it, but we are also an Amazon partner. But working with them, what we've realized is that their goal is to make Alexa something very, very similar to a mobile. Everybody has a mobile, but they want everybody to have Alexa as well. The biggest shift that's going to happen is that if you look at the behavior today, people need to discover a used case or discover a skill on Alexa skill store.

Anmol:

And that experience today is not really well optimized, and that's what Amazon's working really hard on. You know, sort of make discoverability very, very easy and probably cut down the enablement of skills so that people can directly say, "Hey, I ordered pizza from Domino's." right after they bought an Alexa from a store. So they just want to make it that easy, that you don't have to worry about discovering skills or use cases. You can just say, I'm looking for pizza and it'll be able to tell you what all stores are available on Alexa to order pizza from, and that's how easy your life will become.

Brett:

Nice. That does make sense. Because now, and again to go back to the Echo Show, it's interesting if you just kind of watch the Echo Show, you're not doing anything, you're not giving it any commands, it'll scroll through stuff. So it learns the headlines you like, it'll show, "Hey, this is the what's going on here." and you want to know more, say "Alexa, tell me more about the wildfires in Australia." or whatever. So it's got news things up there that you can kind of dive into occasionally or recommend a skill, and it will say this skill is available. Say "Alexa, show me this skill."

Brett:

But I think that you're totally right. We don't think about, we don't know what we don't know. We don't think about the skills that we don't know exist. And so being able to just pose to Alexa, I need pizza, I need new sneaker, whatever. I need to reorder this car part. Then them being able to recommend a skill to help us, that really makes sense. I like that a lot. Well let's do this. This is, this has been fantastic Anmol. Let's talk a little bit about Emitrrer and what you guys do, how you make this easy, who you're most suited to help. So give us the scoop on Emitrrer.

Anmol:

Sure. Like I mentioned earlier are essentially a SAS platform and where our platform is really, really helpful is that building an Alexa skill is, it's not very easy and it is time consuming. So let's assume that you want to have a voice presence, you got to throw engineers solving that problem and you don't know if that'll work or not. So even if you spend six months learning the documentation of Alexa, understanding what to build, learning wastes UI and great waste design. And you build that and then you start marketing it and you'd realize that you've not really made a lot of sort of got a great from it. You essentially spent thousands and thousands of dollars and it's a lot of, it's a long effort in building that. What our platform does is that, you know, we've worked with Amazon to build use cases in such a way that we would allow customers in eCommerce to publish the Alexa skill within less than a week, less than a week's time.

Anmol:

And if you look at a , if you look at an eCommerce skills which, which we have a template for, or order tracking that would take anybody to build about six months from scratch. And, and we've got down absolutely we expensive because we know engineers are expensive, and then there's a huge learning curve. We've cut done that to do a week's effort. So that's, that's where we are really, really helpful. And since we work with Amazon directly, certification is extremely difficult in Amazon skill store. So getting a skill certified and published is very, very hard. Since we work with them, we have firsthand information about what sort of skills need to be built and how their voice design needs to be for it to get certified. So those are things which are really hard for engineers to, when there as a cost time developer of Alexa skills and you know, and that's where we've taken care of things and cut down the time to a week to quickly publish a commerce skill.

Brett:

Excellent, excellent. So if people want to find out more, they need to go to Emitrr.com E M I T R r.com. This is one of those things where if they want to develop a skill like reorder or something like that, they just set an appointment with you and or someone on your team and get kind of a walkthrough and a demo and a custom quote, I would assume.

Anmol:

Absolutely.

Brett:

Great. Any resources you would recommend in anything? If someone, if their interest is really peaked and they're thinking, "Hey, this could be something but I want to digest more, I want to listen to more, read more to kind of get the juices flowing and then, and then I'll talk to somebody." Any resources you would recommend?

Anmol:

I would recommend subscribing to the Amazon Alexa skin newsletter. I think that's the best because one you get insights-

Brett:

And is that your newsletter?

Anmol:

No, not our newsletter, but Amazon's the Alexa skill newsletter.

Brett:

I'll link to that in the show notes. Okay, great.

Anmol:

Yeah, because I think you get firsthand information about the people who are thinking about how voice as a new industry should move. And honestly, I learn every day from that newsletter and that's what gives us ideas about what capabilities and features we should plug into a product. It's helpful in general for anybody who's interested in the voice space.

Brett:

Great, great. Love it. And it looks like you guys have a free ebook as well on your site that people can check out. The ultimate guide for building, scaling and running a Shopify store using voice.

Anmol:

Right. It does include voice use cases, but the interesting use case here is we've collected information from about 60 Shopify experts and collected their answers in there.

Brett:

Great, great, fantastic. Anmol, any closing thoughts or any asks for our audience or anything else you'd like to mention?

Anmol:

I would say that if anybody's interested in voice, feel free to reach out and I'm happy to consult, think about how your voice journey should look, or is it even important at this stage to look at voice for your company or not? And always, when you're building a voice design, the rule number one to keep in mind is that write down what you write down. You know, remember that Alexa and machines speak much slower than human beings. So all that, that looks great on paper is probably not the best design on voice. So keep that in mind when you're building anything in voice.

Brett:

Totally makes sense. And, and I 100% agree that you need to look at is voice right for you now? And it might not be. And for smaller eCommerce companies, it's probably going to be more valuable right now for you to optimize your product detail pages or speed up your checkout or some of those other things, or refine some of your marketing. That's going to have maybe a higher return right now. But voice commerce is growing, it's going to continue to grow and you have to think about it. So that was the main reason I wanted to have this podcast now, as I think the quicker we can get our wheels turning and then be thinking about this and learning about it, the better equipped we'll be. I'd love all listers to the early adopters and, and new things like this that we can capitalize and get a competitive edge, but it might not be right for you now, but it will be at some point. And so we need to be thinking about it.

Anmol:

Completely agree with you there, yeah.

Brett:

Awesome. Anmol, thank you so much, this has been really insightful and interesting. I enjoyed our chat and really appreciate you coming on the show.

Anmol:

Same here, Brett. Thanks a lot for having me. I really loved our conversation.

Brett:

Absolutely, absolutely. Well, fantastic. As always, as you're tuning in, we would love to hear from you. Reach out to us on Facebook or through email. Let us know what you'd you like to hear more of. We'd love your topic idea for a show. Also, we'd love that review on iTunes, ideally a five star review if you feel so inclined. That does help other people discover the show and learn and grow as well. And so with that, until next time, thank you for listening. All right my man, that's a wrap.

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