Beverage Companies Leveraging Voice to Enhance User Experience, at Home and In-Store


Image Source: Smart Aisle

The wine and spirits industry is utilizing voice apps to engage consumers both at home and at retail outlets. The world’s largest beverage companies are embracing the voice revolution as it’s increasingly become more of a relevant channel to reach their target customers.

British alcoholic beverage company Diageo is at the forefront of voice adoption and has invested in many voice-based applications for its brands over the last few years. “We realize that the voice ecosystem is in its early days, but we are determined to continue to test and learn and explore where we can use voice to create great experiences for our consumers,” said Diageo’s head of digital innovation Benjamin Lickfett.

Diageo’s popular website The Bar inspired their Alexa skill with the same name. Designed for the Echo Show, The Bar skill is intended to serve as a user’s personal bartender by recommending cocktail recipes and teaching mixologist techniques. Last December Diageo promoted the Scotch whiskey brand Talisker using an Alexa skill called Talisker Tasting Experience. Users were taken on an “audio journey” to learn more about three whiskeys under the brand. Lickfett told The Drum that the Talisker skill can be applied to other house brands and allows customers to act as brand ambassadors.

“Nearly half of consumers would use a voice assistant while shopping in-store to find products, learn about discounts or compare products,” from the Voice Shopping Report 2018 – Page 25. Retailer marketing group The Mars Agency developed an Alexa skill called Bottle Genius that launched in New York City’s Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit last year. The skill is powered by Smart Aisle and assists shoppers in their search for the right whiskey. Smart Aisle provides shoppers with voice-powered product selection, education and customer support tools at the shelf. They also have locations in five Bevmo!s across California and the Estee Lauder department of the DFS store in the JFK airport.


Heineken released an extension of their NOW delivery service called Drinkies by Heineken that offers delivery of Heineken drinks and various snacks. The new Google Action is supported in the Netherlands and certain parts of Vietnam, Egypt, Malaysia, and Mexico. There is no evidence the action will be activated in the U.S. but time, and the response to Drinkies, will tell.


Image Source: Best of Traal

Last fall Diageo tested a sample delivery campaign in the UK called “Send Me a Sample” that promoted their vegan Bailey’s Almande. Recipients simply requested a sample via their voice assistant and provided their mailing and email addresses. The campaign was not widely publicized as there was limited availability. An ad ran in UK’s Stylist magazine and the promotion was live on Alexa and Google assistant September 5 – November 5, 2018. Diageo reported that 75% of the samples were redeemed within the first two days. A few months ago Bacardi ran a similar Send Me a Sample campaign and sent out 10,000 free samples of its Añejo Cuatro Dark Rum.

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