Argos Partners with Google Assistant
Argos, the UK’s biggest online retailer, that offers same-day delivery and free in-store pick-up services, is now partnered with Google Assistant for voice shopping. In addition to its online presence, Argos is one of the largest UK retailers with over 845 locations, 29 million yearly customers, and nearly a billion online visitors per year.
Google Assistant can be used on either a Google Home smart speaker or through a smartphone. The partnership will allow users to check product availability, reserve a product for same-day in store pickup, find the nearest Argos store, search and buy Argos products all from Google Assistant. After users place an order, they will be required to confirm on their smartphone, and then drive to an Argos store to pick-up their pickup or receive the order directly shipped to the home.
As Argos announces its partnership with Google Assistant, the obvious question is will Argos partner with other smart speaker makers as well? Argos’ chief executive, John Rogers, told the BBC, “We do talk to all these players, whether it’s Amazon, Google or Microsoft. We’re taking the approach of trying and testing – we’re dipping a toe in the water.”
Voice Shopping is new and the sales volume remains small. However, Argos chief executive, John Rogers, realizes the small market but potential for growth in consumer purchases as well, saying “This launch is step one and I don’t expect to turn on the app and suddenly double our sales.” OC&C Strategy reported in March that only about $200 million in U.K. retail sales were made in 2017. That number is expected to rise to $5 billion in 2022 so Argos is betting that early market entry will help them capture a portion of the growth.
In the U.S. many retailers beyond Amazon are already committing to voice shopping enablement. Google has enlisted dozens of leading retailers to Google Express that are voice shopping accessible through Google Assistant. Best Buy has a partnership with Amazon where consumers can voice shop using an Alexa skill. Other companies are adopting solutions such as Voysis to enable voice shopping through mobile apps and websites. Retailers intuitively understand that the convenience of voice assistants makes them a good long-term bet for consumer retail sales despite unverified data that only 2% of Alexa users have engaged in purchase transactions. Voicebot’s own consumer research shows 21% of U.S. adults have engaged in voice shopping activities such as product search, comparison, price discovery and purchase.
You can learn more about consumer activity and sentiment related to voice shopping in the U.S. by downloading the Voice Shopping Consumer Adoption Report.