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Woolworths gifts voice tech to online shoppers

Voice-activated grocery shopping could be coming to Australia sooner than you think, with Woolworths arming some of its online customers with free voice technology.

The retailer has been gifting some of its online grocery shoppers with Google Home Minis, in a likely bid to encourage customers to try its voice-activated shopping lists.

“With a Google Home customers can add items to their Woolworths shopping list via voice as and when they think of items around the house,” a spokesperson for Woolworths told Internet Retailing.

“From time to time, we like to send Google Home Minis with home deliveries to online customers as a gift with purchase. It’s a small way for us to say thanks to our loyal online customers.”

And it seems that many customers are enjoying the freedom offered by voice activated shopping lists. One Twitter user @bazzawill commented on the convenience of Woolworths Assistant, saying it makes shopping “so much easier”.

In 2017 Woolworths became the first supermarket in Australia to offer a Google Voice Action. Woolworths shoppers can add items to a shopping list via the app, then visit the website to purchase the items online, or use the mobile app while shopping in-store.

“To get started, customers can simply ask their Google Home Mini “Ok Google, speak to Woolies,” the spokesperson said.

US retailers leading the way

Woolworths could be looking to follow in the footsteps of US retailers Walmart and Amazon who are leading the way in voice-activated grocery shopping.

In April, Walmart launched voice-activated shopping, whereby customers can order groceries with voice commands through Google’s smart-home assistant, in a bid to compete with Amazon’s Alexa.

Woolworths has its eyes on delivering more convenience for customers, having recently extended the rollout of two hour grocery delivery and announced plans for a new store operating model to suit changing customer needs.

“We’re always looking for new ways to make shopping easier and more convenient for our customers,” the Woolworths spokesperson added.

This story originally appeared on Inside FMCG.

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