For UK shoppers – widespread availability of voice technology and greater variety of services means Conversational Commerce has a chance to thrive

June 4, 2018 – Mastercard today reveals the insights from its research into the opportunities and challenges of Conversational Commerce. In its reportIs anybody there? Giving Conversational Commerce a voice, Mastercard reveals that consumers value convenience above all else and meeting their expectations is key to driving mass adoption of Conversational Commerce.

With Conversational Commerce, consumers engage with human representatives, chatbots or a mix of both, to receive a personalised service. Companies then use these chatbots to send order confirmations, shipping and delivery notifications, and resolve customer service issues.

With voice now becoming the dominant means of interaction within this brave new digital frontier, Conversational Commerce is primed for evolution. Analysis by voice technology watchers Voicebot suggests that 11 million households will expose smart speaker content to an audience of 25 million people in the UK by the end of 2018 – a substantial opportunity for engagement.

Created with partners Future Agenda, the research shows that 87% of US consumers are aware of voice and text agents, and 66% have used them in the past. In the EU, 1 in 5 consumers have already shopped using voice or text agents (21% have shopped, 16% have made payments and 7% have banked).

However, the study also reveals that despite the fact there are already many established voice assistants and smart speakers on the market, voice – and Conversational Commerce – hasn’t yet reached its full potential. Many consumers are nervous about the overall security of voice, especially when it comes to e-commerce. Lack of visible security is the number one reason consumers abandon e-commerce transactions,[1] according to a recent study.

However, it’s a market opportunity set to grow exponentially over the next few years. According to strategy consultants OC&C, in the US $40bn (£29.9bn) will be spent through voice commerce by 2022 ($5bn (£3.7bn) in the UK), representing 6% and 3% of all online spend.

In order to maximise this opportunity for voice - trust, alongside convenience and ease of use, will be key to driving adoption. Partnership is also essential as it’s the wider ecosystem that can make or break a platform. Brands and retailers must work in tandem to integrate new products and services, which are underpinned by security, to create an environment that fosters trust in voice as a channel.

Commenting on the study, Ann Cairns, Vice Chairman, Mastercard, said: “The rapid growth and innovation of voice technology has real potential to change the way we live and do business – for the better. Voice offers a unique opportunity for business to deliver faster, easier and more convenient experiences. But it has to be scaled responsibly. The role of voice technology is to drive a secure, trusted experience that delivers tangible benefit.”

The full report can be downloaded here.

Ann Cairns, Vice Chairman, Mastercard, will discuss the impact of Conversational Commerce on stage at Money 20/20 Europe in Amsterdam from 4th – 6th of June 2018.


About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

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[1] The 2018 Global Fraud and Identity Report, Experian

Adam Keal