Google Home teams up with Argos for voice-activated shopping

Argos mug with Google Home speaker
(Image credit: Argos)
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Argos has become the first ever UK retailer to offer a shopping service using Google Home and Google Assistant, likely in response to increased competition from online commerce sites like Amazon. 

Customers will be able to reserve products in their local Argos store for collection using Google Assistant on their Google Home speaker or smartphone once they have enabled the service.

Once you have made the reservation using your voice, you just need to confirm the order on your smartphone, and your item will be ready for collection. 

Staying realistic

Argos is realistic about the impact this new service will have on its sales figures, with chief executive John Rogers telling the BBC that he “doesn’t expect to turn on the app and suddenly double our sales”, but rather he thinks customers will enjoy experimenting with it as a new way to shop.

After all, the Argos catalogue is a staple of the British coffee table, with millions still distributed to customers every year. Could talking to Google Assistant ever replace the joy of leafing through the catalogue, biro in hand, and circling the gifts you want your parents to buy you for Christmas?

The future of retail?

The future of retail? (Image credit: Argos)

The public aren’t convinced yet

The news of Argos and Google’s partnership comes after a report in The Information (opens in new tab) found that only 16% of smart speaker owners use their device for shopping, with “only about 2% of the people with [Amazon Alexa-enabled] devices” making voice activated purchases in 2018

This could be due to a general distrust of buying items without seeing and comparing products on a screen. Despite this, Amazon maintains that many of its customers do use the service. 

Via BBC Technology (opens in new tab)

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.