Shopping by voice command: why your supermarket can’t stay out of this talk

Companies are betting on the connectivity between virtual assistants and e-commerce platforms to facilitate consumers’ purchases

Once a distant reality, voice assistants are starting to become part of Brazilians’ reality. And this directly interferes in several strategic aspects for brands present in the lives of the population. From the sedimentation of a habit – the voice command – there will be the need to adjust to this new reality to serve a consumer increasingly eager for agility.

According to data from consulting firm Ilumeo, 20% of Brazilians already use voice assistants on a daily basis.  The covid-19 pandemic has fostered this behavior, and the consultancy has recorded a 47% growth in the use of services or products from voice virtual assistants. 

Even before the social isolation, some chains have already started to adapt to this new reality. This is the case of Walmart, which in 2019, announced an initiative with Google to allow purchases by voice command to Google Assistant, the company’s platform to facilitate the daily lives of consumers.

Last year, it was the turn of Carrefour and Google to announce a partnership to launch a shopping service in this format in France, as part of the French chain’s plan to increase the connection between its channels and the group’s digital presence.  By linking a personal Google account to Carrefour’s service, the customer can issue a voice command to draw up a shopping list, which is converted into a product cart that can be paid for on the company’s e-commerce site.

In Brazil, who bets on this connectivity is the Rio de Janeiro chain Zona Sul, which redesigned its digital channels in 2021. Now, customers can connect the company’s application to the Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa platforms, to make their purchases simply by voice command.  New features have also been included, such as image search, which allows customers to insert a photo of a product into the shopping cart.

With the expansion and arrival of the assistants to the homes, the perspective is optimistic for those who bet on this new channel.  According to the British consulting firm Juniper Research, the expectation is that 80 billion dollars will be moved through these devices by 2023.