Another major US retailer has decided to jump into voice shopping just before the holiday season.
Best Buy said Friday it's now selling limited categories of its products through the Amazon Alexa smart assistant. Customers will be able to learn about and purchase the big-box retailer's Deal of the Day products. Also, for those shopping for a TV or laptop, Alexa will be able to ask customers a series of questions and recommend products based on their needs. For instance, with TVs, Alexa will ask in which room the device will be located and if a customer wants a smart TV.
Best Buy is the latest major brick-and-mortar retailer to make its products available for voice shopping in the US, with both Walmart and Target joining in the trend last month. Other businesses like Domino's and Uber also offer their services through Alexa and Google Assistant. All these companies are starting to experiment with voice shopping in hopes of learning about the new sales channel and how their customers may use it. But, it doesn't appear most shoppers are yet using voice to buy stuff, according to a survey this week from IFTTT.
While Walmart and Target decided to go with Google Assistant and avoid teaming up with a rival retailer like Amazon, Best Buy is taking a different tack by teaming up with both Google and Amazon. Best Buy last month integrated with the Google Assistant in Canada, letting users hear about sales, learn more about products and find their nearby stores. The retailer also opted to add displays for both Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speaker, which house their voice assistants, in 700 stores.
To shop with Best Buy using your Amazon Echo or other Alexa-powered device, you'll need to enable the new Best Buy skill and then log into your Best Buy account through Alexa. Then say, "Alexa, talk to Best Buy," to get started.
Best Buy spokeswoman Carly Charlson said her company is looking into adding more product categories to its Alexa skill in the future.
"We're exploring, we're just getting started," she said.
'Alexa, be more human': Inside Amazon's effort to make its voice assistant smarter, chattier and more like you.
The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.