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Google Home and Argos launch voice-activated shopping

"OK Google, ask Argos to find me a new toaster."

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Argos launched its Google Assistant-based voice shop service.

Casey Gutteridge

Argos has launched a voice-activated shopping service that lets you ask Google Assistant to reserve products for in-store pick-up.

It's the first UK retailer to offer such a service. You can also use it to check the availability of up to 20,000 products from the Argos catalogue. And you can find your nearest store on Google Home or Home Mini speakers or using Google Assistant on your phone.

Once the service has been enabled, you activate it by saying "OK Google, ask Argos," followed by your request. For example: "OK Google, ask Argos to find me a new kettle." It'll then ask for extra information about pricing and the store you'd like to collect from.

When you find the right product, Argos will send a notification to your phone for you to complete the order. Then you'll get a confirmation email with a reservation email and have two days to go into a store and collect (and pay for) your order.

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If you spot something you like in the Argos catalog, you can now reserve it using the retailer's new voice shop service.

Casey Gutteridge

"It's really exciting that we are harnessing the simplicity of voice ordering with the convenience and popularity of Click & Collect to make our customers' lives easier," said John Rogers, Argos CEO, in a statement.

"We predict that the Voice Shop service will be a big hit and we will develop and refine the offer further as we get feedback from our customers."

The retailer is facing major competition from Amazon and its own voice-controlled Echo speakers, but analysts say few people use them to buy products, the BBC notes. Rogers is pragmatic about the impact of this new service.

"This launch is step one and I don't expect to turn on the app and suddenly double our sales," he told the BBC. "But I expect people will use it and experiment with it -- and if we can make it a seamless process, you can see why people would want to use it."

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