How Voice Search SEO Is Impacting The Retail Industry

Stephen McCance December 12, 2018

It’s becoming apparent that using our voices is the future of searching online. Thanks to the introduction of technology such as the Amazon Echo, Siri and Cortana, the practicalities of voice searching has made it the favoured way to search online for many. So, how is voice search impacting the retail industry and what does this mean for SEO? We delve into the importance of voice search, with a specific focus on the retail sector.

The Rise Of Voice Search

It’s estimated that voice search will make up 50% of all searches by 2020. This is staggering considering just 5 years ago voice search SEO was in its infancy.

The retail industry is just one of the sectors greatly benefiting from the increase in searches via voice search. A study by Bright Local looking into ‘businesses a user would consider using voice search to find’ has demonstrated that clothing stores are among the top 5. They ranked just below food related industries. This essentially means that clothing retailers are the second biggest sector for voice search!

Voice Search In The Retail Industry

New statistics have been released by Pi Datametrics showing the way voice search is affecting the retail industry. Of the top 5 retailers, two were high-street favourites:, A further three were ecommerce ‘fast-fashion’ websites:,, respectively.

Considering that an increasing amount of shopping by consumers is now done online, it’s somewhat surprising to see that the best performing two, in terms of voice search, are still high-street brands. Debenhams outperformed Next on all categories aside from Menswear, where Next had a higher share of voice searches.

Over the course of the year, retailers have experienced fluctuating performance, largely due to the hot summer. Seasonal changes can influence the volume of voice searches, particularly for those websites that have dedicated categories for beachwear and swimwear. For example, New Look and Debenhams were some of this summer’s highest performers this year due to the warm weather.

How Has It Developed?

Voice search is slowly becoming the go-to method for online searching – particularly when people are driving or on the move. Statistics have shown that people are most likely to use voice search when driving, closely followed by ‘when doing another activity’. The majority of voice searches are questions based, giving way for companies to take advantage of long tail keywords in their site’s content.

Brands such as Debenhams are recognising the importance of voice search SEO for drawing people into their website. They are renowned for investing in their online success, hiring specialist digital marketing agencies to help grow its online brand presence.

Furthermore, voice search is being linked to local SEO. In fact, 22% of voice searches are for local content. As previously mentioned, this is because the nature of voice search is generally those asking questions, such as ‘where’s the nearest Thai restaurant?’ or ‘where’s the best nearby wedding dress boutique?’. For those smaller shops such as boutiques and independent fashion retailers, voice search can help to put their store on the map, proving to an invaluable tool for their business.

The Future Of Voice Search SEO

Though voice search SEO is rapidly growing, there are many business who still aren’t utilising it to its full potential. Many business have SEO focused content, but to cater to the increase in voice search, it should be altered slightly to ensure that all pages are sufficiently optimised for it. The market is set to be worth $601 million by 2019, so there’s no better time for businesses to start acknowledging the rise of voice search, changing their techniques to give themselves an upper hand against their competitors.

Back to Blog