Argos now lets you shop with your voice

Argos is partnering with Google Home to create a “voice shopping” experience enabling users to reserve products in a local Argos store using their Google Home.

Shopperscan bark commands at their Google Home devices, checking stock availability and ensuring desired products are ready for collection at nearby Argos outlets. It’s a plucky move from Argos in the face of titanic ecommerce competitor Amazon, whose own voice-controlled Echo speakers facilitate online shopping.

However, the symbiosis between the Amazon Echo and ecommerce isn’t quite as strong as you’d expect. Analysts reckon that, despite millions of units of Echo speakers being shifted, only a very limited number of people actually use them to purchase products.

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For its part, Argos isn’t being complacent about its newfound Google partnership. Speaking to the BBC, Argos chief executive John Rogers explained, “This launch is step one and I don’t expect to turn on the app and suddenly double our sales”.

“But I expect people will use it and experiment with it – and if we can make it a seamless process, you can see why people would want to use it.”

Argos is owned by Sainsbury’s, which itself has faced competition from Amazon as the ecommerce giant expands to encompass groceries and fresh produce. Its acquisition of Whole Foods, in addition to its rolling out of Amazon Fresh, are causing anxiety on the British high street. Because really, if you can get a £10 bottle of Aperol delivered to your door free of charge, you’re not going to not take that offer up.

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Meanwhile, those for whom trawling through the Argos catalogue every Christmas – armed with a permanent marker and an unrealistic sense of entitlement – is a cherished childhood memory needn’t despair. “We still distribute millions of catalogues to people’s homes,” explained Rogers. If that’s not Christmas spirit, then I don’t know what is. Yours, for £129 RRP.

Argos and Google Home: How it works

  1. Say “OK Google, ask Argos” followed by what you need e.g. “OK Google, ask Argos to find me a new toaster”. 
  2. Google will ask for some extra info to help it find the right product as quickly as possible e.g. “‘how much do you want to pay?” or “which store do you want to collect from?”
  3. Once you’ve found the right product, the app will ask if you want to reserve it and send a notification to your phone. All you need to do to complete the reservation is open the notification and confirm your order.
  4. Just like Argos’ Click & Collect, you’ll be sent a confirmation email immediately with a reservation number. March into your local Argos and claim your loot. You have two days to collect and pay for your item.

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