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Oz Retailers look To Use Voice Order Systems

The battle to sell voice activation is clearly on display at stores such as JB Hi Fi, Harvey Norman and The Good Guys where voice activated gear is in big demand, now retailers are set to integrate  the technology into their operations to allow customers to easily order products and services.

In Australia Google is winning the hearts and minds of consumers with third parties such as audio and TV companies now driving adoption of their voice technology.

In the USA Walmart has moved to integrate voice technology so that consumers can easily order goods and services with at two Australian retailers now working on similar developments.

Walmarts new ‘Voice Order’ feature is designed to take on Amazon and is being described as a taste of things to come.

The new initiative from Walmart is perfect for the Google smart speaker ecosystem, as it plays to the strengths of the internet giant.

By simply saying ‘Hey Google, talk to Walmart’ consumers will be able to use their voice to build shopping lists with the grocery mammoth, using any device which has the Google Assistant installed on it.

Tom Ward, SVP of Digital Operations at Walmart US told Telecoms.com “With the new voice ordering capabilities we’re building across platforms with partners like Google, we’re helping customers simply say the word to have Walmart help them shop … literally,” said .

Of course, the application will not be perfect to start with, but as with anything intelligence related it can be trained and personalised to each individual.

At the beginning, users will have to specify what products to put into the cart, but soon enough the virtual assistant will remember these purchases. Saying ‘milk’ won’t put any brand or product into the cart, but the one you bought last time.

Google and Amazon are the top-sellers of smart speakers across the world, with Amazon claiming to have now sold more than 100 million products with their strength being the US market.

In Australia Google got a big jump by launching ahead of Amazon and it appears to be paying off.

Now sound Companies traditional audio giants are starting to release their own products Samsung has Bixby and Bowers and Wilkins will soon release a new voice system and speaker.

At this stage the audio brands do not have the software smarts to create their own virtual assistants, this is where the likes of Google and Amazon come in.

Sooner or later, smart speakers will be the norm, with the internet giants battling for access to the consumer. A walled garden business model can be created, with the virtual assistant monetizing relationships between the consumer and a third-party claims Telecom.com.

This creates a new dynamic between the consumer and Silicon Valley, offering more opportunities for the internet giants to sell to third-parties, and it looks like Google has won round one in the fight for control of the living room.

Walmart has said other assistants will be available to place orders before too long, but Google was selected as the first partner.

This could mean one of two things. Firstly, Google nailed the partnership, commercial elements and technical issues to all for such a feature to be introduced. Then again, it could have paid for the right to be first.

Analysts claim that Google is now ahead of Amazon when it comes to monetizing the voice user interface. This is a big step forward for the digital economy, and while it might be early days, it does give an indication of the futuristic world we are hurtling towards.

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