Argos has long defined its retail brand through the innovation and technology that it deploys in the shopping experience. Through its strategic use of technology, the retailer offers its customers a range of convenient ways to buy products. That’s important for Argos since many of the general merchandise product it sells are not exclusive to the retailer. Since last autumn, its customers have been able to browse and order from its range via a new and potentially convenient channel – voice.
Shoppers can speak their searches via Google Assistant, choosing from a range of more than 20,000 toys, home essentials and technology products. Once they’ve identified the items they want to buy, they can reserve them for collection from more than 850 branches of Argos.
At the time the service was launched, John Rogers, Argos chief executive, emphasised how the new service fits in with the Argos brand.
“Argos is a digitally led business at the forefront of technology, and 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,” he said. “We predict that the Voice Shop service will be a big hit and we will develop and refine the offer further as we get feedback from our customers.”
Today, voice is one of a range of channels that Argos customers can use to engage with the retailer. They can follow Argos at YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and order via channels including its website and its mobile app, as well as in-store.
Features on the retailer’s YouTube channels include a range of unboxing videos, and a playlist of videos from Argos testers – one video featuring a My Little Pony unboxing had 99,000 views at the time of writing. Argos also features its videos, such as a ‘holiday heroes’ series of ads, across its social media channels, and runs a wide range of competitions on its Twitter and Facebook channels – where Argos’ fast-track delivery and collection services also get high levels of response from predominantly happy shoppers.
Argos stands out in IRUK Top500 research for its use of personalisation, and for services that it offers that are less commonly found among the Top500 – its use of product reviews and ratings and of live chat on its mobile app.
Argos was bought by Sainsbury’s in 2016. As we explore in the Sainsbury’s case study (opposite page), the supermarket has used Argos to deliver on its own brand message of shopper convenience, enabling its shoppers to order and pick up the wide range of non-grocery goods that Argos sells from within its own supermarkets.