Mike Page, CEO and Co-founder Phebi, joins us to discuss voicifying the web and collapsing the path to purchase. read more
Diving deep into the usage of smart speakers in-store, finding out how a voice assistant is helping with product selection and driving sales, with The Mars Agency’s Bree Glaeser and Brooke Hawkins.
If you’ve had your ear to the ground, you might have come across this example of how voice is being used to help people shop for whisky in-store. It’s called SmartAisle. It’s an interactive voice assistant that takes away the paradox of choice by guiding users through a conversation to find the right whiskey for them.
It’s a sterling example of how voice could and should be applied in-store and is proving to increase sales.
Today, we’re speaking to the team that designed it to find out about:
- The opportunities of voice in-store
- How it’s driving sales
- Design considerations for designing in-store voice assistants
- Technical challenges
- The future of voice shopping
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Where to listen
About Bree Glaeser
Bree is an innovation strategist, currently focused on helping brands prepare for a voice-first world. Bree leads the voice practice at The Mars Agency, and is a core member of the team responsible for dreaming up and bringing to life the first-of-its-kind voice assistant at brick and mortar retail, SmartAisle (SM).
Bree got into the voice and conversational commerce space via a background in design thinking and innovation. She has acted as a coach/industry expert supporting the Berkeley Entrepreneurship Program and other innovation groups in the Bay Area, to help students and professionals identify insights and ideate consumer/user-driven solutions.
About Brooke Hawkins
Brooke started her career in voice designing interactive phone calls and voice assistants for healthcare. Since then, she’s helped co-write the Intro to VUI course at CareerFoundry, designed chatbots for Fortune 500 clients at Nuance, and now works with The Mars Agency designing voice shopping experiences for brands. When she’s not designing for brands, Brooke writes about the burgeoning field of voice ethics, and is always thinking about the new ways voice interfaces are changing our lives for better or worse.
About The Mars Agency
The Mars Agency is a global marketing practice, specializing in marketing to shoppers, consumers and retailers across the ever-expanding omnicommerce environment. Mars uniquely refers to this environment as the A-to-V Commerce space, which incorporates everything from Autonomous to Voice commerce.
Mars, proud of its independence and growth-for-clients focus, operates internationally across the Americas, Europe and Asia through its network of 13 offices.
This week, we’re speaking with Jon Chu, COO, Jetson AI, all about the Jetson platform and voice shopping and ordering in the restaurant, retail and hospitality space. read more
We’re starting a new feature on VUX World: The Rundown. Dustin Coates and I are getting together each week (or bi-weekly) to discuss the recent happenings in the voice space and how that’ll impact designers, developers and brands.
Alexa settings API
We’re starting off by discussing the Amazon Alexa feature that developers have been clambering for since 2016: the settings API.
With the settings API, you can access the user’s timezone (among other things) and use that within your skill to personalise the voice experience for your users. You can send them targeted push notifications at the appropriate time and use their preferred weather measurement (Celsius or Fahrenheit).
We discuss Eric Olsen’s (3PO Labs) in-depth review of the settings API and how it could be the beginning of something bigger.
Scott Huffman’s 5 insights on voice tech
We also discuss Scott Huffman’s post (VP Engineering, Google Assistant) on the five insights on voice technology and how they should impact your approach. For example, focusing on utilities and understanding what kind of things people use Assistant for at different times of day.
Voysis and Voicebot vCommerce study
We delve into the Voysis and Voicebot study on vCommerce and discuss how voice on mobile is so important, yet how it’s bubbling away under the surface, not grabbing many headlines.
Alexa skills challenge, Storyline and icon creation
Finally, we discuss the latest Alexa Skills Challenge: Games, in-skill purchases on Storyline (check out VUX World with Vasili Shynkarenka, CEO, Storyline) and the new Alexa feature that allows anyone to create icons for their skills.
Where to listen
I don’t think we appreciate the significance of kids born today. I’m calling them Generation V. The voice natives. They’ll know nothing other than being able to talk to tech. Imagine that.
My son won’t know anything else. It’ll be normal for him. (I secretly hope his first words are “Alexa”)*
I read the report of how people aren’t shopping on Alexa and saw some of the comments on Twitter about voice being a flash in the pan.
Do you really think it’s a fad? The kids of today will make sure it isn’t, even if us old folks think it is.
It’s not up to us, it’s up to them. And we’re duty bound to give them everything they need to take the world one step further.
The Virgin Trains Alexa skill using Amazon Pay is one great example of how vCommerce should be done. That’s a step in the right direction and is something that we can all learn from.
I think it’s just symptomatic of a new technology finding its feet.
When the internet first allowed you transact and pay for things, people were ringing the company afterwards to make sure their order had gone through. We’re in those days with voice.
* Update: his first word was woof.