Now you use Alexa to do your shopping on command

by Peter Ingman - 29/08/2017 - 17:02

Ocado launches Alexa app for grocery shopping by voice

Ocado launches Alexa app for grocery shopping by voice

Even as Amazon steps up a groceries war in the US following its $13.7BN acquisition of Whole Foods — cutting prices at the chain this weekend to amp up the pressure on rival Walmart — other supermarket players are figuring out their own strategic responses to Jeff Bezos’ big food fight.

UK online supermarket brand Ocado has today outted an app for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, enabling users to add groceries to their shopping list by voice — at least if they also own one of Amazon’s AI-powered Echo smart speakers.

The app lets users add a product to an existing Ocado order or basket via voice command — though the phrasing for this is pretty clunky, with users needing to speak two brand names (Alexa and Ocado) to amend their orders by voice.

(It gives the following sample command: “Alexa, ask Ocado to add carrots to my order” — which is a bit of a mouthful for something that’s billed as increasing convenience for shoppers.)

Its envisaged use-case is someone realizing they’ve run out of a certain product when they’re in the middle of cooking, and being able to add it to their list without having to break off from whatever they’re chopping.

Other features in the app include being able to find out which products are in season, and get ideas for possible recipes; check an existing order or basket to see if a product has been added already; keep track of an order (by asking: “Where’s my order?”); and confirm the time until which an existing order can be amended.

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