Argos launches Google voice shopping service in UK first

Argos Google

Argos has become the first retailer in the UK to allow customers to use Google Home smart devices for voice shopping.

Customers will be able ask their Google Home smart speaker to check product availability and reserve items in a local store.

The service will also work via Google Assistant on smartphones.

It comes as the retailer faces increasing competition from online retail giant Amazon, which has its own-brand Echo speakers.

However, although Amazon has sold millions of Echo smart devices, it’s thought that only a fraction of people use them to buy products.

In addition, Argos has sold thousands of devices powered by Amazon’s Alexa voice technology, but it does not have a voice app on the Alexa platform.

Argos chief executive John Rogers told the BBC that launching an app on Google Home was “step one” and that the retailer was taking the approach of “trying and testing”.

“I don’t expect to turn on the app and suddenly double our sales,” he said.

“But I expect people will use it and experiment with it – and if we can make it a seamless process, you can see why people would want to use it.”

Shoppers will also still need to browse Argos’ catalogue or website to find the product they want before asking Google Home to make reservations.

“We still distribute millions of catalogues to people’s homes,” Rogers said.

“We all know that the catalogue on the coffee table, as a means of browsing, is really good – and it’s hard to replicate with today’s technology.”

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