Interflora has launched a first-of-its-kind Amazon Alexa skill allowing customers to order and pay for flowers using only their voice. In what is a first for the UK’s retail sector, customers can now ask Alexa to ‘Open Interflora’, place an order, check out with Amazon Pay and send the flowers all through one simple voice interaction.
Developed by leading voice design and digital agency Vocala, the skill is available on all Alexa enabled devices allowing customers to order flowers on the go or whilst multi-tasking at home. Users can select a beautiful bouquet of hand-crafted flowers and have them delivered by one of Interflora’s 1,200 local, artisan florists either the same day, next day or any date in the future.
For customers who are time poor or need inspiration the Interflora voice assistant will play the role of ‘personal shopper’, recommending flowers based on the purchase occasion or season and providing flower care advice and interesting facts. The skill is able to suggest a recommended message for the card based on the occasion, which will then be personalised with the recipient’s name.
Those who know what they want to send can state their preferences on colours or types of flowers and can opt to send their own custom message using voice recognition. If using a screen device such as the Echo Show, the products will be available to browse on screen.
Interflora is the first retail brand to launch an end-to-end ‘Voice Commerce’ offering with just one, simple voice-based transaction that makes it possible to send flowers via Alexa.
Jim Clark, Head of Ecommerce at Interflora says: “As market leaders we’re delighted to be first to market in the UK with such great technology, alongside Amazon. Our passion lies in connecting people and helping them to share a moment or emotion with someone special. To make that possible with just your voice feels really exciting. People lead such busy lives so we have developed our skill with our customers in mind, making it as quick and easy as possible to order flowers. It feels like a natural step for us to be there when it’s convenient for people.”
The Vocala team have created top voice titles Pointless and Deal or No Deal. The studio, which is recommended by Amazon as an experienced skills developer, has designed the skill, not only to provide a quick and easy way to order flowers, but to also provide advice on caring for flowers and make personalised recommendations.
Rob Stanbridge, Managing Director of Vocala says: “For us, voice technology is about more than delivering functional benefits. We believe in its potential to add value to the customer experience and provide greater brand engagement for our clients. Our aim was to create a guided voice experience that truly represents the Interflora brand voice, going beyond a simple transaction to offer engaging natural conversation with the Interflora experts and support customers in their purchase.”
The Alexa skill was launched in London yesterday with a cheeky election-themed brand activation to brighten the nation’s mood. An Interflora ‘Pollen Station’ embarked on a tour of the capital which included a stop outside The Houses of Parliament. Inside each of the ‘Pollen Station’ booths, Londoners were invited to send a free bouquet of flowers to a loved one of their choice, courtesy of Interflora.
Saying ‘Alexa, open Interflora’ launches the skill with Interflora’s voice assistant guiding users through the purchase process. Alternatively, customers can simply direct Alexa to ‘Ask Interflora to order flowers’ or ‘Ask Interflora for tips and advice’.
The Alexa skill is available from Thursday 12th December on all enabled devices, just say, “Alexa, open Interflora” to get started.