A Shift in Consumer Discovery: The Rise of Voice and Image Search in Irish Retail

Technological innovations are redefining consumer interactions. Just like how the rise of voice and image search is reshaping how products are discovered and purchased. This blog delves into the power of voice and image search, exploring the strategies retailers in Ireland can adopt to thrive in this evolving landscape.

The Voice Search Revolution

Smart home devices, led by Amazon Alexa and Google Home, are propelling a revolution in how consumers interact with technology. Voice-activated searches have become commonplace, prompting Irish retailers to optimise for this trend by focusing on conversational keywords and local SEO. Forecasts predict global sales of voice-enabled devices exceeding $30 billion by 2024. By waiting until later in 2024 to optimise for voice search you risk losing a significant consumer base, as around 45% of Irish homes now use a voice assistant monthly, compared to 19% in 2019

Localising the Experience

Given that voice search is three times more likely to be local, Irish retailers must ensure their online presence is optimised for local searches. Updating business listings on platforms like Google is crucial. By catering to the local context, retailers enhance visibility and connect with consumers seeking products and services in their vicinity.

Strategies for Voice Search Optimisation

  1. Conversational Keywords: Focus on incorporating long-tail keywords that mimic how customers speak when looking for products.
  2. Local SEO: Emphasise local SEO strategies, including optimizing Google My Business listings and location-based content.
  3. Structured Data Markup: Implement structured data markup to provide search engines with clear information about products, services, and business details.
  4. Mobile Optimisation: Voice searches are frequently conducted on mobile devices. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

The Image Search Revolution

The integration of image search into ecommerce adds another layer to the consumer’s discovery journey. Imagine being in a store, spotting a stunning couch, but wanting a better deal. Simply take a picture and use Google’s image search to find similar products at more attractive prices. As ecommerce transitions to mobile, visually searching for products using personal photos or online finds is becoming a reality.

Image search presents an opportunity for consumers to discover similar products at more competitive prices online. This shift in behaviour could eventually drive consumers to transition from physical stores to online platforms, even if their shopping journey began in a brick-and-mortar store.

Strategies for Image Search Optimisation

  1. Visual Content Optimisation: Ensure product images are high-quality, and consider implementing 360-degree images or augmented reality features.
  2. SEO for Visuals: Optimise image filenames and alt text to enhance visibility in search engine results.
  3. Incorporate Image Search Functionality: Consider integrating image search functions into your ecommerce platform, allowing users to find similar products effortlessly.

Synergy of Voice and Image Search

The real magic happens when voice and image search converge. Imagine a consumer admiring a product in-store, capturing an image, and using a voice command to find similar items online. The seamless integration of these technologies creates a powerful and intuitive shopping experience.

Embracing the Future

For Irish retailers, embracing the rise of voice and image search is not just an option; it’s a strategic imperative. As consumer behaviours evolve, those who proactively adapt to these technological shifts will position themselves as leaders in the competitive retail landscape. Whether through conversational keywords, local SEO, image search functionality, or a synergy of voice and image search, now is the time for Irish retailers to harness the potential of these innovations, ensuring a customer-centric approach in the digital era.

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