The competition between virtual assistants heats up again as Google adds ecommerce functions to Google Home, allowing users to buy products via voice from select Google Express partners, which includes Costco, Whole Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Fry’s, and Walgreens. This move signals Google’s intention to further challenge Amazon’s Alexa, which had enjoyed a high degree of integration with Amazon’s ecommerce infrastructure. Delivery fees start at $4.99 unless you have a Google Express membership that costs $95/year (or $10/month).
What Brands Need To Do
While it is unlikely that Google will be able to truly compete with Amazon in the conversational commerce space, considering Amazon’s strong advantage in this arena, this still marks an important addition to Google Home as Google continues to buff up its functions to hold its ground against Amazon’s Echo lineup. Earlier this week, reports indicate that both Amazon and Google are working on turning their connected speaker products into landline phone replacements. As smart speakers gain more functions and new selling points, more mainstream consumers would be sold on their increasing use cases and therefore become addressable via conversational interfaces. So, it is time for brands to either seek out similar partnerships with Google and Amazon or explore other ways to reach customers via voice-based interfaces, such as with a branded Alexa skill.
How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The “Miller Time” Alexa Skill we developed with Drizly for Miller Lite is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.
If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.