The Future of Online Ordering - By Voice - The Sobering Stats from 2018

The Use of Voice Ordering is Exploding - Tripling - in 2018

Before online ordering from restaurants reached a critical mass of 50% for some restaurants, years of spotty reporting and predictions about online ordering ranged in every direction. We watched as chains found the immediate returns of online ordering to be worthy of the commitment of dollars necessary to enable complete adoption. Franchises refused to allow franchisees to build their own app and charged each franchisee by the order count from both phone and online orders.  While locals were claiming little or no customer interest in mobile or online ordering, we saw franchises begin to change the dynamics of automating the ordering process to increase volumes, reduce costs and grow market share.

The efforts worked long before locals and small competitors figured out just HOW much share was being lost by locals to the big chains.  Despite the local claim that quality and community commitment would never go away, orders went the way of online very quickly.  One reason many missed was that as smart phone adoption exploded, users wanted to use their phone as much as possible.  They did.  They used the phone to order pizza.  

Today, the newest technology, Alexa or Echo, for example...basically the voice bots which are now in 40-50 million homes, is growing quicker than mobile phones.  Plus, now mobile phones are enabled to use as voice ordering devices and industry statistics aren't totally reflecting the phenomenon of phones or home bound voice devices being 'asked' to 'order me food online', which connects them with the online ordering sites of restaurants and other food providers. That "40-50 million new devices" is the sobering statistic we're referencing.  Groceries? They are the next success story. 

Customers will soon ask Alexa for your online ordering app and soon your tech provider will have no choice but to develop voice activated and enabled phone ordering by voice.  Imagine ordering from a list without having to search and select on an app.  (See the statistics here.) 

This is a quote from that article from Voicebot - 

"The purchase of physical goods is where Amazon with its online properties and Whole Foods grocery division is believed to be in the optimal position for success. Google Express is the alternative through Google Assistant that relies on a network of national retailers and eventually expects to also include smaller businesses. Beyond these, there will be voice direct sellers that incorporate voice shopping into mobile apps and websites. All of these channels and buying stages will see more activity in 2019.
"Voicebot data show that over 40 million U.S. adults had access to an Alexa-enabled device heading into the 2018 holiday season. If just 2% of them engaged in voice shopping then that would be over 850,000. Using Edison Research numbers for reordering or purchasing new products at 17%, we get seven million consumers shopping using Alexa. It’s a difference of nearly 10x. Keep in mind that Amazon said the number tripled, not the rate of users. The tripling figure includes new Alexa owners that did not have a device in 2017. Granted, Voicebot analysis suggests that in the first half of 2018, Amazon Alexa device ownership in the U.S. rose by only about 13%. That means the tripling of voice shopping included both more users and a higher rate of usage. You should expect to see more of this in 2019."
We hope these numbers are accurate but have no doubt that, like restaurant food online ordering, people are going to want to sit on their sofa and say to their phone "Hey, (Alexa...if they have one, or into their phone) get me my fav grocery online ordering order by voice".  The best demographic for grocers already has the ordering tools and we believe those customers will want to use them sooner than later.  Once they know they can talk to you to get the bread and milk, how can you say no?