For the first time, customers can use just their voice to reserve technology, toys and home essentials for same-day pick up from more than 850 Argos stores by using the Google Assistant (available on most Android phones, iOS or smart speakers like Google Home). After a quick confirmation on their smartphone their order is ready for collection.
As well as placing reservations with voice command, customers can also ask Google to search for products and check availability. They can also find a store by simply saying “OK Google, Ask Argos to find my nearest store”.
Argos’s new Voice Shop is unique. Unlike other voice services used by retailers, customers can use Argos Click & Collect to pick-up purchases from a convenient store location of their choice.
As part of the initial launch phase, Argos will be seeking feedback from customers on the new service so that its technical team can develop the Voice Shop technology further to continue improving the experience.
The Voice Shop service launches at a time when smart speakers are increasingly taking up residence in British homes. One in ten households in the UK now has a digital home assistant and voice shopping is forecast to be worth £3.5 billion in the UK by 2022. Sales of smart speakers have grown 151% year-on-year at Argos.
Six in ten sales at Argos now start online, yet 80 per cent of orders are fulfilled in-store as shoppers take advantage of its Click & Collect and Fast Track services. Some 95 per cent of people in the UK live within ten miles of an Argos store, so it makes sense that they would order via app, website or voice, to collect at their convenience from a nearby store rather than wait in for a delivery.
John Rogers, chief executive officer at Argos, said: “Voice technology has the potential to revolutionise how we shop in the future. Digital home assistants have soared in popularity over the past year and people are increasingly looking to their smart devices to help with the smooth running of their lives.
“Argos is a digitally-led business at the forefront of technology and it’s really exciting that we are harnessing the simplicity of voice ordering with the convenience and popularity of Click & Collect to make our customers’ lives easier. We predict that theVoice Shop service will be a big hit and we will develop and refine the offer further as we get feedback from our customers.”
Voice Shop is the latest in a line of technology-enabled innovations from Argos designed to make shopping even easier. Earlier this year Argos launched augmented reality-enabled LEGO models through its mobile app, closely followed by an augmented reality service allowing customers to try large screen TVs in their home before they buy.