ASOS expands into voice shopping with Google Assistant ‘fashionbot’

Oct 12, 2018 | E-commerce and E-retailing

ASOS has teamed up with Google to let customers shop across popular categories using just their voice and the fashion retailers own bot guide 'Enki'.

The online-only fashion platform revealed the new voice shopping ‘fashionbot’ Enki, for customers in the UK and the US.

Users can initiate a conversation by saying “hey Google, talk to Asos” to their Google Home smart speaker to shop the latest products across Asos’ top womenswear and menswear categories, viewable on their smartphone.

This isn’t the first time Asos customers have interacted with Enki. Described by the retailer as the Asos fashionbot, Enki launched on Facebook Messenger earlier this year to help customers discover relevant products.

In recent months Asos has launched features such as ‘Your Edit’ (a weekly drop of curated items), ‘Style Match’ – which enables customers to search using images from the web or captured on their smartphone – and ‘You Might Also Like’, all built on machine learning to make it easier for customers to navigate the wide range of products on Asos’ site.

“With 85,000 products on site at any one time, and on average 5,000 new items added each week, it’s more important than ever to make it easy for our customers to stay on top of what’s new on Asos”, said Asos senior product manager Jason Gregory.

“With the launch of Enki on Facebook Messenger and now Google Assistant, we’re exploring ways that conversational commerce can help us make the Asos shopping experience as easy and intuitive as possible.”


Analysis

Paul Delaney, head of digital marketing at full-service e-commerce agency PushON, said: “ASOS has consistently shown itself to be one of the most forward-thinking e-commerce brands. Already leading the way on visual search, it is unsurprising that the company has now made a smart move into the world of voice search by teaming up with Google.

“Voice search has emerged as one of the most prominent new search trends over the past few years, with Google suggesting that 20% of mobile search queries made via its app are now conducted using voice search, and 10% of UK households now owning a smart speaker.

“Voice search transactions are already worth around £0.2bn, and with the number of households with a smart speaker predicted to rise to 50% by 2022, voice transactions are expected to grow to an astonishing £3.5bn.

“With voice search transactions on the rise, users of these technologies will be key target demographics for online retailers going forward.

“While most businesses won’t have the advantage of a direct collaboration with Google, savvy retailers who start working on their voice search strategy now can get a head start on their competition and harness this new technology to successfully increase online sales.

“Optimising a site for voice search will help to boost its organic search rankings, which is particularly pertinent in the world of e-commerce, where a retailer’s search visibility really can make or break a brand.”

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