Even as Amazon stairs adult a groceries quarrel in a US following its $13.7BN merger of Whole Foods — cutting prices during a sequence this weekend to amp adult a vigour on opposition Walmart — other supermarket players are reckoning out their possess vital responses to Jeff Bezos’ large food fight.
UK online supermarket code Ocado has now outed an app for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, enabling users to supplement groceries to their selling list by voice — during slightest if they also possess one of Amazon’s AI-powered Echo smart speakers.
Ocado says it’s a initial UK supermarket to launch an app for Alexa.
The app lets users supplement a product to an existent Ocado sequence or basket around voice authority — yet a phrasing for this is flattering clunky, with users wanting to pronounce dual code names (Alexa and Ocado) to rectify their orders by voice. (It gives a following representation command: “Alexa, ask Ocado to supplement carrots to my order” — that is a bit of a swig for something that’s billed as augmenting preference for shoppers.)
New orders also can't now be combined around a Alexa app — Ocado says it’s dictated for updating existent orders only. Its envisaged use-case is someone realizing they’ve run out of a certain product when they’re in a center of cooking, and being means to supplement it to their list but carrying to mangle off from whatever they’re chopping.
Other facilities in a app embody being means to find out that products are in season, and get ideas for probable recipes; check an existent sequence or basket to see if a product has been combined already; keep lane of an sequence (by asking: “Where’s my order?”); and endorse a time until that an existent sequence can be amended.
Ocado says it’s feeding existent patron product preferences into a new app to safeguard suitable product suggestions — formed on things like formerly bought items.
The voice selling app gives users a “convenience and coherence to emporium however they prefer”, it adds.
Commenting in a statement, Lawrence Hene, Ocado’s selling and blurb director, said: “Consumer direct for increasingly available ways to emporium is flourishing fast and we’re vehement to be a initial supermarket in a UK to offer this technology, creation customers’ lives ever easier. Alexa will supplement any object to your Ocado basket simply by seeking her to do so. It’s as easy as that.”
Ocado claims to broach groceries to some-more than 70 per cent of a UK population, with an register of some-more than 50,000 products. Its UK food smoothness business is powered by 3 placement centers opposite a country.
Following Amazon’s merger of Whole Foods, a ecommerce hulk does now have a earthy grocery store participation in a UK — yet a code has only a handful of stores there (nine), with many located in London.
But given 2015, Amazon has also operated a grocery deliveries business in a UK — with a AmazonFresh use rising London final year. So a vital hazard to Ocado from Amazon’s food-based ambitions is clear, even as it launches a possess Alexa app in a bid to safeguard a grocery code stays front of mind for Amazon users.