Carrefour and Google have launched a new voice-based e-commerce grocery shopping experience.
The voice-enabled grocery shopping service works via Google Assistant, a digital assistant available on smartphones and other devices, and is part of Carrefour and Google’s strategic partnership signed in June 2018.
"The partnership developed with Google gives Carrefour a head start in terms of technology and customer experience,” explains Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Carrefour Group's executive director of E-Commerce, Data and Digital Transformation. “Carrefour is the first retailer in the world to integrate with the new voice-based grocery shopping experience on the Google Assistant. This innovation, developed with Google, will further accelerate the trajectory of e-commerce at Carrefour.”
The move is meant simplify and personalize the grocery shopping experience, while protecting the personal data of users. Here’s how it works:
The Google Assistant allows the user to add items to their shopping list by voice using common words such as butter. The Google Assistant’s voice-recognition technology helps it handle generic words such as “fromage” (“cheese”), product names like “Comté 18 mois” (“Comté 18 months”) or brand names such as “Comté Carrefour bio” (“Carrefour Bio comté”).
Because the Assistant is connected to Carrefour's e-commerce inventory, it is then able to convert that list into a cart of products available for sale on carrefour.fr. Shoppers can also share their list with people, who can add the items they want, or add an optional "Voice Match" feature to respond only to that customer's voice.
The conversion is customized, so the items added to the shopping cart by the Google Assistant reflect the user’s product preferences as closely as possible. The shopper can still delete, modify or add products as they wish.
The Google Assistant converts the shopping list into a shopping cart by proposing items that reflect the customer’s preferences, either because they are known (the customer has already purchased the product at Carrefour) or because the Google Assistant deduces those preferences (based on the general purchasing habits of the customer at Carrefour, as well as the best price available and the best sellers). If the customer has never bought items from Carrefour before, the Google Assistant only takes into account the last two criteria to suggest items for their cart. The Google Assistant learns as people use it and improves its recommendations to continually provide better service.
Once the shopping cart is confirmed on the Google Assistant, the customer moves to Carrefour's e-commerce site to finalize their order, confirm their slot and delivery method, pay and take advantage of any loyalty benefits.
The user must associate their Google Account with their Carrefour Account for the shopping experience to work and for the user to be offered relevant product recommendations. When the user agrees to associate the two accounts, they also authorize Carrefour France to share the history of their purchases at Carrefour with Google. The user can withdraw their consent at any time and disassociate their accounts. Carrefour will no longer share the customer’s purchase history with Google, and Google will delete any data transferred. This happens automatically if the voice-based grocery shopping experience is not used for 30 days.
"Google's core business is to provide information and technology that are helpful on a daily basis, and we are proud to have been able to offer an iconic retailer like Carrefour with the best of our technology and expertise to rethink and simplify the grocery shopping experience," says François Loviton, director of Brands & Commerce, Google France.