Voice chat

The next big thing for retail? Voice.

There is a hype around the Clubhouse App going on in Silicon Valley. It’s basically a voice based incarnation of chat rooms from the past. One wonders if this kind of app will go the way other overhyped apps have in the past. Btw. is YO still around? Well, probably not.

But this time, it might be different, because Clubhouse taps into the voice and streaming territory. In Clubhouse everybody can become their own (radio-)talkshow host with an audience. At times it just becomes a place like citizens band radio where random people just talk to each other.

Generally speaking, hearing another person’s voice is something very personal. Talking to another person is what many regard as real experience. It’s not posting an update where you have time to think what you write. It’s spontaneous, it’s personal and focused.

Yes, but why is this a thing now? And why is it important for retail? With the corona-crisis, people’s social life more than ever before moved into the digital world. We have Zoom calls with friends and family (we prefer Jitsi). We have a houseparty in an app.

The same was true for shopping: with brick and mortar stores closed, people had no choice other than to shop online. However, the online experience in online-shops is something that often lacks a personal touch: it’s strictly business oriented with the goal of selling goods. And that’s where big players like Amazon excel: they’ve created a almost perfect online-sales-machinery. The emphasis is on machinery: it’s highly standardized, optimized and automated.

That’s something small(er) businesses just can’t compete with. They lack the expertise on basically all levels. But they have a superpower that Amazon doesn’t have: personality. And more than ever, with people willing to support local businesses, they can make use of their superpower.

And this brings me to voice. By using streaming technology, businesses can open a very personal channel to customers. A shop can literally make their voice heard by their customers. Be it a reading in a bookstore that is streamed to customers. A soundstream of a coffesshop that is able to transform living rooms into virtual coffeshops. There are many possibilites, where your business can benefit from this.

Do want to learn how your business can benefit from voice streaming? Get in touch with us.

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