Sweden Coop Sverige Introduces Voice Recognition for Shopping Lists
Swedish grocer Coop Sverige has launched a new function to its mobile app that lets users compile a shopping list just by using voice commands. To use this, customers just need to open a new shopping list, press the microphone and start saying the items they would like to add and the amount. The list can also be shared with other family members.
Daniel Johansson (Retail Analyst)
Opinion Voice Convenience Taking Off
With voice recognition becoming more reliable and adopted by a wider audience, we can expect to see more retailers adding similar services. It clearly provides convenience when having to compile a shopping list on the fly whilst busy with other everyday tasks.
Coop Sverige has shown with other initiatives this year that is has realised the competitive advantages of offering shopper convenience and inspiration. For instance it lets shoppers import recipe ingredients directly into the shopping basket of its online store or to the shopping list. It also has introduced meals for four persons costing less than SEK80 (EUR8.45) that are featured in bi-weekly national TV commercials featuring famous chef Lotta Lundgren. All the ingredients are then found co-merchandised in the stores. We think that initiatives like these are differentiators that could win over time-pressed shoppers and create more loyalty for Coop Sverige.
The logical next step would be to let shoppers add items into the online shopping basket through voice recognition, as other leading online retailers have started to do. This could be based on previous preferences or by pre-selecting through filtering, for instance adding only organic goods, lowest price or best choice as shoppers already can do with the retailer’s add-recipe-to-basket function.
Coop may be the first grocer in Sweden to use voice recognition, but retailers in other markets are already further ahead and have tentatively taken this next step. Online grocer Ocado’s app leverages Amazon’s Alexa to let shoppers add items to their online shopping baskets. Morrison’s, which uses Ocado's technology, introduced the same function last month. Meanwhile Tesco has been working with Google Home to find ways to leverage voice technology within its online grocery operation.
It will be interesting to observe which services gain the most momentum, whether a central home application like Alexa or Google Home or retailer-developed solutions like Coop Sverige’s. Regardless, we believe that voice-generated orders and shopping lists are here to stay owing to the added value and convenience they bring. However, this also creates challenges for retailers, which will need to think differently about how they promote items and inspire shoppers online without the use of images or taxonomy. This is already a challenge on a mobile device, but without images and banner ads retailers will perhaps need to rely more on autoreplenishment of frequently bought items, voice suggestions and loyalty data to personalise the experience for shoppers.
With inputs from Senior Retail Analyst Lisa Byfield-Green