Argos is building on its already impressive logistics offering by adding voice commerce into the mix. The retailer, which is a leader of the pack when it comes to collection, delivery and returns, is now allowing shoppers to reserve items through their smart speakers, for collection in an Argos store on the same day.
Using the Voice Shop service on a smart speaker, customers are able to ask Argos to find them a product, be it an LOL surprise or a washing machine. Options are narrowed down by answering questions such as how much customers wants to spend or which Argos store they want to collect from. When the right product has been identified, Voice Shop asks if they want to reserve it and sends a notification to their phone, which they can confirm. The item is then collected in store.
John Rogers, CEO at Argos, has noted, “Voice technology has the potential to revolutionise how we shop in the future. Digital home assistants have soared in popularity over the past year and people are increasingly looking to their smart devices to help with the smooth running of their lives.”
According to a YouGov study, one in ten households in the UK now has a smart speaker – in the US, 50% of homes are predicted to have one by the end of 2018. Voice shopping is forecast to be worth £3.5bn in the UK by 2022.
The move is just the latest initiative in Argos’s efforts to stay ahead of its competitors by combining technology with convenient collection and delivery options to provide a stress-free shopping experience. Six out of every 10 of its sales start online but with 95% of UK residents living within ten miles of an Argos store, most (80%) prefer to collect in store using click and collect or Fast Track, rather than waiting in for a delivery.
Research by RetailX found that the retailer’s collection and delivery options are among the best out there. It is among just 4% of Top500 retailers offering same-day delivery and 22% offering same-day collection. It will also pick up returns from customer’s homes, something done by just 19%.
“Argos is a digitally led business at the forefront of technology,” said Rogers. “It’s really exciting that we are harnessing the simplicity of voice ordering with the convenience and popularity of click and collect to make our customers’ lives easier.”