VoiceSell Closes $4 Million Funding Round to Bring Voice Commerce to Websites
Voicesell has announced that it recently closed a $4 million funding round from a syndicate of angel investors led by ChannelMark Investments. The Santa Clara based company also announced the availability of the beta release of the VoiceSell software which enables websites to add voice commerce capabilities. Prior to the announcement, the company was developing the solution in stealth mode and Pitchbook lists the founding date as 2011.
Adding a Virtual Shopping Agent to Websites
The company provides a virtual agent with natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to websites that it says will help shoppers more quickly navigate online stores. It also contrasts the “stand-alone” nature of the VoiceSell solution that doesn’t rely on third-party voice assistants such as Alexa or Google Assistant and allows the online retailers to maintain control over the customer experience and all transaction data. The company announcement states that:
“VoiceSell understands most desktop and mobile destinations out of the box with no programming required. Within a few minutes of setup, it overlays any online store with full voice navigation, an interactive agent to answer customer questions, and a greatly simplified and natural voice ordering process – all without the need for any complex website redesign. Using VoiceSell, customers can go through the entire buying process by voice, enabling mobile and other customers to browse, search, and checkout without even touching a keyboard. It also enhances ADA-compliance on any Website for visually-disabled shoppers.”
The focus on enabling websites is different from other white-label voice assistant solutions such as SoundHound and Voysis which are embedded in mobile apps or inside of devices. However, using mobile web pages, VoiceSell can also be accessed by shoppers using smartphones. A demo of how it works is included in the video below.
A Focus on Commerce, Fast Performance, and Fast Integration
Mike McEvoy, VoiceSell’s CEO, told Voicebot that the company’s solution is also different because it is browser based. According to McEvoy, the architecture means it is “faster with little cloud server interaction…The communication between the shopper and retailer is private and only observable by the retailer. We don’t have access to the data or conversation between the two parties. It integrates into the websites existing analytics and multivariate tools like any other component…As we combine voice, visual, and tactile into one overall experience, it is important that the key analytics and other information are brought together in one data set and works with one set of tools that the site team already uses.”
He also said that the company has focused on making integration fast and easy. “We plug into any commerce site and platform by adding one tag (in google tag manager, for example). If the site uses a standard platform and template, we just work. Shopify and BigCommerce are good examples of standardized template models. If sites have been more customized it may take a few hours to a day to map the objects…For example. it took about three hours of integration time to get Walmart (which is a customized Magento implementation) up and running with the standard feature set. We did the same in the same amount of time to create demos for sites like Ace Hardware, Kroger, Rakuten, SkullCandy, and others all via a simple table-driven methodology.”
VoiceSell is not working with those retailers today but applied its system to their websites during testing to refine the integration tools. The company has not released pricing publicly and says it is a subscription service that offers self-serve solutions for small businesses along with higher tiers that include professional service support for mid-market and enterprise scale retailers.