Voice recognition may be the next big thing in retail, and it is being driven by the growing use of virtual home assistants such as Google Home and the Amazon Echo.
Use of virtual home assistants rose 40 per cent in 2018 – there are now 66.5 million devices in the U.S. – and they are likely to play a decisive role in grocery shopping decisions, according to a report in Business in Vancouver.
Virtual-assistant personalities such as Amazon’s Alexa are increasingly going to decide what products are suggested to consumers. In the case of Amazon, where the technology provider is also a grocery retailer, the synergy is obvious, but it’s just as powerful where a grocery giant teams up with a tech giant – think Walmart and Google.
A retail technology expert interviewed for the article warned that there could be a “bloodbath in grocery” in Canada if the big retailers like Sobeys, Loblaw and Overwaitea don’t develop the technology quickly. Overwaitea Food Group president Darrell Jones told BIV that while his company doesn’t yet offer customers a voice commerce option, it is upgrading its technology so it can do so in future.