Academy of Marketing Studies Journal (Print ISSN: 1095-6298; Online ISSN: 1528-2678)


Voice-Commerce Technology Adoption in the Indian Online Retail Sector: An Exploratory Research Study

Author(s): Irfan Ahmed, Sanjay S. Mehta, Ganeshkumar C., Roshini A and VivekShankar Natarajan

Among the rapidly developing technologies and business models spawned from e-commerce, voice commerce or V-commerce is rising in prominence. Encompassing voice-based interface and enhanced machine-human interaction, V-commerce seeks to enable and improve e-commerce transactions using voice-based interaction as a central feature. Besides ease of interaction for consumers, V-commerce promises higher volumes of transactions and revenue and increased cost-efficiency for businesses. As with any innovation, the success of V-commerce hinges on its adoption by consumers who engage in e-commerce transactions. The present study seeks to improve understanding consumer reactions to and favorability towards adopting V-commerce. We explore the current state of V-commerce technology in India, identify the influences that may be responsible for adopting V-commerce among Indian consumers, and determine the segment most likely to use V-commerce in the future. Since India has been recognized as a burgeoning consumer market where the diffusion of V-commerce enabling technologies is at a nascent stage and due to potential accessibility issues in its multilingual milieu, we believe that insights gained from this study would be helpful to e-commerce operators. A non-probability sample of e-commerce users based in major Indian cities was requested to complete an online survey yielding 119 usable responses. The online survey included questions on respondent demographics, V-commerce utilization, and questions eliciting their assessment of the importance of V-commerce features and benefits to their decision to engage in V-commerce. A principal components factor analysis revealed a dominant factor identified as a shopping experience. Engagement in V-commerce was found to be influenced (in descending order of importance) by a hands-free shopping experience, ease of use as compared to other means of access, a faster checkout process, convenience, the availability of personalized recommendations, product selection, better product recommendations, secure payment options, and accuracy of voice recognition. Regarding demographic differences, no significant difference was found in gender, but older respondents favored using V-commerce more than younger respondents. The paper offers insights into the adoption of V-commerce among a sample of urban Indian consumers. While the choice of sample limits it, we believe managers could potentially focus on the variables that were found to be important in enhancing or diminishing consumers’ motivation to use V-commerce. Further, we recommend that more research be conducted into the likely patterns of V-commerce diffusion in contexts other than unilingual and relatively homogeneous societies.

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