Voice controls are the next big thing, or at least the companies that operate them seem to want us to think that way. Whether they're going to be used for controlling your smart home devices, controlling your TV, or helping your kids cheat on their homework. Shopping is a thing too, and over in the US loads of retailers have added integration with voice assistants, so you can shop for things without all the effort of using an app or going to a proper website. Argos has decided this is a great idea, and now lets you do your shopping via Google Assistant.
The idea behind this is that because voice-activated assistants are getting so popular, Argos figured it was time to give customers the option of making reservations this way. While it doesn't let you order things that will be delivered to your house, as you can with Amazon's Alexa, Argos will let you reserve a product in store ready for you to go and pick up in person. It's essentially a fancy click and collect service, with over 20,000 products that can be picked up in 850 Argos stores, 230 of which are hiding inside branches of Sainsbury's.
To start an order you'll need to ask Google Assistant to "talk to Argos", at which point it will ask you what you're looking for and how much you're willing to spend. Provided the item is in stock in a nearby store, you'll get a notification from the Google Assistant smartphone app asking you to confirm, at which point you'll get a confirmation email just like any other reservation. Once in-store you just need to pay, and you can take the thing home with you that same day.
As you can see in the video above, Google Assistant will also be able to tell you where your nearest Argos is and whether certain products are in stock.
John Rogers, Chief Executive Officer at Argos, said:
“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.
“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 & Collect to make our customers’ lives easier. 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.”