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ASOS launches voice shopping on Google Assistant

Online fashion brand introduces voice shopping service to help customers navigate its thousands of products more easily

Online fashion retailer ASOS has launched a shopping service on Google Assistant that allows customers to search its products using voice.

The firm’s artificially intelligent (AI) shopping guide, Enki, will be accessible through the Google Assistant or Google Home smart speaker using the voice command “Hey Google, talk to ASOS”.

Further questions can then be asked of the ASOS catalogue, such as “Ask ASOS to show me jeans”, enabling customer to interact with the brand using conversation.

Consumers can use the service to look at, and purchase, products in six menswear and womenswear categories.

Jason Gregory, senior product manager at ASOS, said: “With 85,000 products on site at any one time, and an average of 5,000 new items added each week, it is more important than ever to make it easy for our customers to stay on top of what’s new on ASOS.

“With the launch of Enki on Facebook Messenger and now Google Assistant, we are exploring ways that conversational commerce can help us make the ASOS shopping experience as easy and intuitive as possible.”

Enki was originally created by ASOS as a “fashionbot”, a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, to help customers use natural language to discover products relevant to them.

The service uses machine learning to offer features such as a weekly suggestion of items tailored to each customer’s personal taste and a style matching service that helps customers find products similar to those they have searched for on the web or have images of on their smartphone.

During the first few months of the voice shopping capability – currently available only in the US and the UK – ASOS will use customer feedback to assess possible improvements.

In June 2018, ASOS had 5.8 million active users in the UK, and the brand sells more than 85,000 products.

Read more about retail technology

Many experts in the retail space believe retailers should help customers to discover items relevant to them as mobile devices enable people to shop at any time.

ASOS is not the only brand to explore voice technology to make customers’ shopping experience easier.

This summer, Argos launched voice shopping through the Google Home assistant to allow consumers to reserve and order products from a limited portion of its catalogue.

And last year, online grocer Ocado launched voice shopping on the Amazon Alexa to allow its customers to add or remove items from their shopping lists and track their orders.

Though still in its infancy, voice-enabled shopping is becoming an increasingly popular way for retailers to interact with their customers.

Read more on IT for retail and logistics

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