Information Technology Foresight

The latest thinking on creating competitive advantage through information technology.

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Shopping by Voice: A Hard Sell for Consumers

The promise of shopping by voice is huge. Smart speakers and similar devices are proliferating like wildflowers. But the reality isn’t there yet. What’s holding it back? And what will allow it to flourish?

10% The proportion of U.S. voice-assistant users who shop daily by voice.

This month’s issue of IT Foresight features “Shopping by Voice: A Hard Sell for Consumers,” a thoughtful analysis of what’s holding back the infrastructure on which voice shopping depends, and how it can be advanced. Why does it matter? Because once consumers get used to it, voice shopping could help companies expand their multichannel sales strategies, collect key data on customer needs and preferences, and boost sales.

Featured Foresights

Shopping by Voice a Hard Sell for Consumers
s+b article
The infrastructure on which shopping by voice depends is still underdeveloped. The universe of voice-activated devices has grown robustly, but other elements—frictionless, humanized voice technology, shopping-related apps and content, and the personal data generated from user interactions needed to improve personalization and usefulness—has not. Among the initial steps companies can take to promote this valuable sales channel: Making voice shopping easier, assuaging consumers’ concerns about security, and promoting the psychological bond with their voice-activated devices.
10 Principles for Modernizing Your Company’s Technology
s+b article
The new wave of IT is poised to change how your company does business. Are your legacy systems up to the task? It’s not likely. Going forward, enterprise IT systems must provide profoundly enhanced levels of connectivity, automation, integration, and analytical prowess. This guide to preparing your IT systems for the digital future offers 10 principles for ensuring that you remain competitive in our rapidly changing business environment—from designing fast, flexible modular systems to making sure customer value is always the goal.
Five unexpected ways to use the Internet of Things
PwC article
When it comes to preparing for the brave new world of the Internet of Things, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Too many companies begin the effort with grand plans that may take years to coalesce. That’s a recipe for frustration and failure. Instead, begin with smaller, more practical applications that have a better chance of success. These could involve installing sensors in everyday business objects to save energy, manage inventory, enhance customer service, and identify the location of employees who need assistance.