Online supermarket Ocado says it is the first UK supermarket to launch an app for the voice-controlled Amazon Alexa.
The development means shoppers can now use Alexa to add new items to their Ocado shopping list as soon as they realise they need them.
In addition, the Ocado app, available to download from Amazon from this week, will also enable shoppers to find out which products are currently in season and receive inspiration for the best ways to include them in recipes, check an existing order to basket to see if a certain product has already been added, keep track of order delivery and confirm how late an existing order can be amended. The new app will also be able to suggest both appropriate and previously bought items, making personalised shopping recommendations.
Lawrence Hene, marketing and commercial director at Ocado , said: “Grocery shopping should be quick, easy and convenient. Using voice technology, we’ve made it even easier by developing our new app that will enable our customers to add to their Ocado baskets without lifting a finger.
“Consumer demand for increasingly convenient ways to shop is growing rapidly and we’re excited to be the first supermarket in the UK to offer this technology, making customers’ lives ever easier. Alexa will add any item to your Ocado basket simply by asking her to do so. It’s as easy as that.”
Commending on the news, Rupal Karia, head of commercial, UK and Ireland at Fujitsu, said the news pointed "towards a simple truth – customers now expect to be able to shop when and how they want, with flexibility and ease. Ordering through voice-controlled AI systems in the home can provide shoppers with an option that’s fast, simple and above all – easy. Convenience is now key and retailers that aren’t savvy to that fact are clearly missing out on a wealth of potential."
He added: "More businesses need to be taking advantage of new technologies to help provide customers with the shopping experience that most suits their needs and expectations. AI ordering services will not only give customers another option, but could potentially transform their experience with a retailer and create long term loyalty. Fast adopters stand to win – while retailers who fall behind may very well lose customers, costing them millions."