📝Key takeaways from the Smart Voice Summit 2018

Thank you to everyone who participated in the success of the first edition of the Smart Voice Summit! The two day event welcomed over 250 voice enthusiasts, who participated in keynotes, panel sessions and workshops proposed by Smartly AI and partners including Google, Amazon, BBC, Sephora, Orange, The Financial Times, Deezer, Acapela and more! There was a great reaction on Twitter throughout the day, with the hashtag #SVS18 enabling those who were not present to get insights on the event! Here is a brief summary of the event, which took place on the 1st and 2nd February 2018. So, what were some of the key takeaways?

Smart Voice Summit

#1 Brands, the time is NOW!

If the Smart Voice Summit confirmed anything, it is that 2018 is THE year of voice! Peter Hodgson, Senior UX Design Lead, and Lionel Mora, Product Marketing Google Assistant EMEA, from Google presented day one’s flagship keynote, after the event was officially opened by Hicham Tahiri, Smartly AI’s CEO and co-founder. Their keynote, Embracing the Voice Revolution, addressed not only the importance for brands to have a voice presence (FYI, Google Assistant is now available on 400+ devices including phones, cars, speakers and fridges), but the importance of good design when creating voice experiences.

Smart Voice Summit

Lionel Mora, Product Marketing Google Assistant EMEA (pictured) and Peter Hodgson, Senior UX Design Lead from Google presented the event’s flagship keynote

Bret Kinsella’s keynote further confirmed the urgence for brands to create a voice strategy. Technology advancement (machine learning can now rival human accuracy) and market readiness (16% of Americans own a smart speaker) create the ideal environment for brands to launch their voice app! According to Bret’s stats, currently 41% of consumers prefer voice to mobile apps or the web. The top reason for this is because it is more convenient!

Smart Voice Summit

Bret Kinsella’s keynote gave statistical insights on the voice market

#2 Every industry is being disrupted

Panel sessions dedicated to media, transport and retail showed that all sector are being transformed by voice technology. The use cases vary from generating awareness and driving engagement to facilitating transactions and integrating into existing products. Mathieu Lima, Deezer’s Platform Product Manager, and Chris Gathercole, Head of FT Labs at The Financial Times also took to the stage to outline how voice was bringing value to their respective industries.

Smart Voice Summit

Laurent Dunys (The Bot Studio, Founder), Tristan Charié (Front-End Developer / UX UI Designer,  PSA Peugeot Citroën), Charles Cadbury, Dazzle, Co-founder and Benoit Bouffart (OUI.SNCF, Product Director CPO) discuss how voice is bringing value to the transport industry

#3 Good design is essential

Google’s workshop on day two showed participants how to design and prototype a voice conversation action using new Google Design Sprint methodologies! The key takeaway? Put the user at the centre of the app! Designers need to put themselves into the shoes of the user, take into account principles of social interactions and give the app a personality! Amazon’s workshop also stressed the importance of good design, and Vui Agency and Deutsche Telekom’s workshop lead to some great examples of how emotion detection can be used to improve voice apps!

Smart Voice Summit

Google’s workshop got everyone up on their feet to work together to prototype a voice conversation

With regards to testing apps, Clearleft’s UX Designer and Product Strategist, Ben Sauer, outlined how the Wizard of Oz can maximise the chances of voice success with a keynote that had a Star Wars twist!

#4 Be multimodal ready and BEYOND

We are already seeing the emergence of voice devices with screens. As the mix of voice and vision becomes more common, applications will need to consider how they will handle other inputs coming from a touch screen or a camera. In addition to this, brands also must be multidimensional: multi input, multi  user, multi device and multi channel! Karen Kaushansky’s (Consultant, Experience Design Leader) keynote addressed all of the aforementioned points and more. In the future we will also need to consider creating an app-less experience, conversational questions, more context and conversation, creating characters, emotion recognition and more.

Smart Voice Summit

Karen Kaushansky discussing the future of voice

#5 The voice ecosystem is booming

Voice professionals from across the globe attended the Smart Voice Summit. The Startup Spotlight enabled startups to showcase their company in a 3 minute pitch. From digital voice processing (CandyVoice) and the new generation of interactive voice servers (Voximal) to voice powered learning (Batvoice) and a voice tech consultancy agency that doesn’t charge a penny (Vaice), there is no shortage of innovation in the voice sector!

Smart Voice Summit

CandyVoice did a live demo of their voice transforming technology

A big thank you!

Thank you to our sponsors – Google, WAI by BNP Paribas and Acapela; our speakers (not all are listed in this article, please click here to see the full programme), and of course, everyone who attended!

A London edition of the Smart Voice Summit is already in the pipeline! Sign up to our voice newsletter to keep up to date with the latest voice and Smart Voice Summit news!

⭐Succeed your voice strategy with Smartly AI’s partnership program

During the first edition of the Smart Voice Summit, Smartly AI revealed their Partnership Program, an ecosystem of voice first professionals to help brands succeed their voice strategy.

Voice strategy

William Bailey, Smartly AI’s partnership director, revealing the Partnership Program at the Smart Voice Summit.

With the virtual digital assistant software market expected to reach $7.7 billion and 1 billion users in 2025, having a voice strategy is fast becoming a requirement, as opposed to an option. As a result an increasing number of brands are looking to launch a voice application.

READ ALSO: Why Every Brand Needs a Voice Strategy in 2018

With more voice devices making their way into our homes, brands need to look more closely at how they create voice experiences in order to ensure that they bring real value to the end user. Creating a stand out voice application and launching a successful voice strategy is not always simple and requires several skill sets.

Beyond developing the voice application itself, the conversation of the application needs to be well designed. This voice first interface is different to a graphical one, and the conversational path must be carefully considered in order for the application to be successful. In addition to all this, the application must complement and reinforce the brand’s image in order to become an integral part of the omni-channel marketing strategy.

Smartly AI’s Partnership Program unites technical, voice design and brand professionals in one place. As every voice project is different, Smartly AI will analyse each brand’s requirements and put the brand in contact with the right partner(s) to make sure that they succeed their voice strategy.

Got a voice project? Tell us more and let us connect you with the right voice experts! Head over to our partner page and select “Find a Partner”.

TELL US MORE

Pssst, if you are a voice professional and interested in joining our Partnership Program, or want to find out more about how it can benefit and grow your business, click here!

🚀Google to Sponsor The Smart Voice Summit

We are delighted to announce that Google will be the platinum sponsor of the Smart Voice Summit 2018! Taking place on the 1st and 2nd February in Paris, the Smart Voice Summit is the first event dedicated to smart speakers in Europe and aims to give business all the vital information they need in order to launch and succeed their voice strategies in 2018!

A voice pioneer

The Internet (and voice) giant entered the smart speaker market in November 2016 with its first device and announced just this week at CES the arrival of 4 smart screens to add to its collection of devices. In Q4 alone the company sold 7.6 million smart speakers and brands such as Sephora, Accor Hotels, CNN, Domino’s, Kayak and Spotify have created Google Actions in order to better connect with, and enhance the experiences of, customers using these devices.

In addition to a special voice first keynote by a surprise guest, Google will also be running a design sprint workshop for conversational interfaces!

You may also like: Why Every Brand Needs a Voice Strategy in 2018

voice professionals and industry trailblazers

Major brands pioneering voice such as the BBC, Sephora, SNCF and Boulanger will also be in attendance at the event to outline the value that their respective voice first strategies have created. There will also be industry specific panel session: Voice for Banking, Voice for Retail, Voice for Media, Voice for Transport, addressing sector specific voice use cases, challenges and results. Click here for more information on the programme!

LAUNCH AND SUCCEeD YOUR VOICE STRATEGY

Make sure your voice strategy is on point for 2018, take advantage of our new year promo price and reserve your spot now!

BE THERE !

📢[Smart Voice Summit] Interview with Karen Kaushansky

Named on of Business Insider’s top 75 Designers in Technology, Karen Kaushansky has been working in the voice industry for over 10 years! Karen will be discussing multimodal interfaces and the future of voice at the Smart Voice Summit, Europe’s first event dedicated to voice technology. We caught up with Karen to talk about voice industry milestones, her dream feature for designing voice apps and more!Karen Kaushansky

Please tell us a bit more about yourself.

I started my career as a Voice User Interface designer in 1996. Over the years, I moved from designing telephone based voice experiences to general device or consumer electronic experiences. Today I describe myself as an Experience Designer helping companies design experiences and products with current and future technologies including speech recognition, voice biometrics, augmented/mixed reality, autonomous driving and artificial intelligence.

You have been in the voice industry for over 10 years, what have been the major industry milestones?

At a very high level, there are 2 areas that have really helped us get to where we are now, the ability to design voice experiences fill users’ needs and work much better than they used to:

1) The move from static, directed dialogs to natural language grammars; moving from dialogs that had to be pre-programmed with each word and step, to moving towards more conversational, user driven dialog. We’re not there yet, but this lets users interact and say what they want instead of specific commands at certain times.

2) The ability to build experiences from the ground up with hardware and software designed together in one experience; where speech is integrated into the experience from the start. This includes technology advances such as processing power that let’s us know to wake up our devices with wakewords, and embedded and cloud based recognition. Building these frictionless experiences into hardware such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple TV is why people are finally realizing the opportunities that lie ahead.

You recently moved to Europe, what do you think of the voice ecosystem over here compared to the US?

I know there have been telephone based voice systems here in Europe for a long time, but now with Amazon Echo and Google Home, we will see very quick growth. One thing to consider in Europe is that the learning curve to design and develop should be shorter than the US; hopefully you can learn from what’s been done right, and done wrong in the US, and create better experiences out of the gate. On the other hand, there are challenges to deal with in Europe from the start around localization and culture. Working with designers and researchers with expertise in this area will help.

What excites you most with regards to the future of voice?

I’ve been working with some clients pushing the boundaries of voice and I’ll share some insight into the future during my talk at the Smart Voice Summit 🙂

What would be your dream feature for designing voice applications?

We still have a ways to go with building personalization and intelligence into our experiences; and voice is likely just one way to interact. The dream is to build a truly smart assistant that knows me, can act on my behalf, with little or no setup.

What are you most looking forward to at the Smart Voice Summit?

As you mentioned, I recently moved to Europe from San Francisco. I’m looking forward to meeting and sharing ideas with the European community and building a local network here.

Make sure you voice strategy is on form for 2018, reserve you spot at The Smart Voice Summit now!

💡Why Every Brand Needs a Voice Strategy in 2018

The adoption rate of voice technology is the same as that of the smartphone and social media when they were first launched. Could you imagine today a brand without a social media presence? Or without an app? With the smart speaker market expected to hit USD 13 billion and over 100 million shipments by 2024, these devices are fast moving from entertainment gizmos to must have appliances. At present it is a pleasant surprise to discover your favorite brand’s voice app, but in 2018 it will become an expectation.

Create a voice strategy

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR MOST NATURAL INTERFACE

Voice is one of our primary and most natural methods of communication, making voice a natural interface for humans. Our world is becoming increasing digital and connected, as a result we have greater expectations with regards to our interactions with brands. Consumers today place great importance on customer experience and expect instant gratification. By allowing third party applications, smart speakers give brands the opportunity to take advantage of this natural interface in order to better meet their customers’ expectations. Voice applications enable brands to have an omnipresence and always be available, no matter where the customer is: their home, car or office…

BE WHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE

Voice applications can be used as a way to obtain information about a company or product (e.g. “Alexa, what’s the Forbes quote of the day?”), augment existing mobile apps and web applications with voice-enabled digital services (e.g. “What’s my account balance?”), or enhance customer experiences (“e.g. Alexa, book me into my zumba class”).There are currently over 25000 Skills on Alexa and almost 500 Actions for Google Assistant from brands from a variety of sectors. Companies such as Campbell’s Soup, Capital One, Kayak, Sephora and  Accor Hotels have all launched a Skill or Action. Voice applications.  Through creating a better user experience, brands are able to boost acquisition and improve retention. In the UK, Domino’s Pizza recently achieved increased sales, which the company partly attributes to it’s Alexa Skill! Voice applications also create a digitally augmented workforce, easing the pressure on sales teams for certain tasks, enabling them to focus on other areas of the business. With an increasing number of major tech players launching their own smart speaker, the market, originally pioneered by Amazon, is not expected to calm down anytime soon.

IMPROVE YOU VOICE SEARCH RANKING

Digital assistants also have the potential to disrupt web browsers. According to Gartner, by 2020, 30% of search queries will be conducted without a screen. Unlike searching on a screen, no one wants to hear endless search results reiterated by a smart speaker. Users want one answer. “Implicit invocations” from Google means that a user can activate an app without explicitly saying the apps name. But what if the brand doesn’t have an app? In this situation you risk the smart speaker giving incorrect information from any old website or referring to a competitor.

Grab the Early Adopter Advantage

Brands need to seize the early adopter advantage and define themselves in this new voice operated environment. Pioneers who have already launched their voice first strategy should be applauded, as this is no easy feat. A voice first strategy means not only developing a voice application but one that adds value to your customers, but also considers all other touch points in order to create an omnichannel customer journey with a consistent brand message.

Imagine the frustration of millions of users who ask to speak to British Airways, Marriott Hotels or HSBC, if these brands do not offer a voice portal. Imagine that the assistant then offers them to talk to a competitor; who has already rolled out their vocal strategy. Imagine that the voice search engine answers a question that directly concerns one of these brands with an incomplete or erroneous response from any site. It’s time for brands to realize that personal assistants are the interface of tomorrow and that in this new #VoiceFirst paradigm, there will be the winners and the losers.

📢[Smart Voice Summit] Interview with Charles Cadbury

Charles Cadbury, the co-founder of Dazzle, a voice activated personal assistant for the travel industry, will be speaking at the Smart Voice Summit to discuss how voice technology is being used in the tourism industry to enhance customer experience. We caught up with Charles to find out more about his motivations for creating Dazzle, his views on the UK voice ecosystem and what he is looking forward to most at the Smart Voice Summit.

Charles Cadbury

What was the motivation for starting Dazzle and what was the problem you wanted to solve?

We had been looking at what might be the future of the interface for a while and smart speakers consolidated our thinking that conversation was the spearhead for a post GUI world.  Dazzle solves the problem, that customers can’t easily communicate with travel providers to obtain key services, with a platform that provides simple, conversational access for informational, operational, and transactional requests.

Would you agree that the UK voice ecosystem is in good shape and on a growth path?

It’s in excellent shape for this.  We have seen huge investment by the major global technology players who are all positioning their ‘assistants’ front and centre of their offering which is driving market understanding and adoption of the necessary hardware.

Why do you think there is so much excitement about voice technology right now? Is it about technology advancement or market readiness?

There’s some magic about being to speak into the air and an ethereal assistant helping you on your journey through life.  The technology is still very early but we all now have a nascent understanding of the technology adoption and improvements curves and can see how much better these technologies will become over the next few years.  We have also all grown up with science fiction movies showing us how these assistants work….

Please tell us more about the adoption of voice technology with regards to the tourism industry in the UK?

It’s all about personalised experiences.  The more engagements you can have with a travel provider on digital channels, the more personalised that experience can be to your needs.  This is the main driver as it delivers benefits both to the customer in terms of experience and the provider in terms of data and operational efficiency.

What are you most looking forward to at the Smart Voice Summit?

In the early days of mobile there were relatively few practitioners and they held a sense of community that gets lost over time.  With voice we are back at the beginning of a voyage of discovery and I’m looking forward to meeting the other people at the forefront of exploration of these technologies.

Join Charles and representatives of pioneering voice brands such as the BBC, Sephora, Boulanger and The Financial Times at The Smart Voice Summit on the 1st and 2nd February 2018!

BE THERE

📢[Smart Voice Summit] Interview with Bret Kinsella

Next year on the 1st and 2nd February, the first edition of The Smart Voice Summit will take place in Paris. The event will unite the voice ecosystem over two days to discuss how voice technology is adding value to brands and will give businesses the essential information they need to succeed their 2018 voice strategy.

Pioneering voice brands such as the BBC, Sephora, Boulanger and The Financial Times will explain their motivations for creating a voice application, as well as the challenges and the results they encountered. The event will also have industry specific round tables for voice banking, voice retail, voice tourism and voice media, and major voice players including Google and Amazon will be sharing their top tips for businesses wanting to create a voice application.

Bret Kinsella is the founder and editor of Voicebot.ai, the go to voice first website for voice news, opinions, stats and interviews. Bret will attend the Smart Voice Summit to discuss the need for brands to leverage AI and voice in order to stay relevant and accessible. We caught up with Bret to find out more about his 2017 voice highlights, his dream voice assistant feature and what he is most looking forward to at the Smart Voice Summit.

bret kinsella

Please tell us a bit more about yourself and where your voice passion came from.

I started working with voice technology on mobile in 2013 and began looking at how brands could leverage voice interaction through smart speakers in early 2016. I did some market research and immediately recognized a parallel to what I had seen in the mid 1990’s with the rise of the Web. I was asked to write an article on brands and voice for Advertising Week and that was picked up by Huffington Post. The response was so strong I wound up launching Voicebot.ai in September 2016. Since that time, we have served over 100,000 unique readers with over 800 articles. Along the way my associate editor Ava Mutchler and I have worked to launch several voice apps on Alexa and Google Assistant, broken several high profile stories and become the leading site for market data and original research in the voice AI segment.

What was the biggest voice news of 2017 in your opinion?

The voice assistant adoption rate. Several analysts originally thought only 6-8 million smart speakers were sold in 2016 and another 12-15 would be sold worldwide in 2017. They were wrong. Most have since revised the 2106 figures to 8-12 million and 2017 numbers to 25-30 million units. That includes devices made by dozens of equipment manufactures that are now integrating Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant into their products. Add to this the adoption of 29 million hearables–wireless earbuds with voice assistant access—and introduction of Google Assistant to hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide and you simply have voice assistant availability and use accelerating. Plus, voice assistants became available globally in 2017. It was a very big year for the industry.

2018 will see more tech giants launch their smart speaker, which one are you most excited about?

I am most interested in what we will see for multi-modal voice and screen integration. Google and Facebook supposedly have stand-alone products with screens in the works and this is the year I expect to see more integration with large screens such as televisions. The voice plus visual segment will take adoption and use to an entirely new level and integrate voice assistants much more deeply into our daily lives.

What would be your dream voice assistant feature?

The ability to maintain context across sessions and devices. Voice assistants today only have short term memory. They assist you in what you are doing now and have little understanding of what you have done with them in the past. That will change over the next several years as voice assistants remember our preferences, what we have done previously and start to proactively optimize our experience.

What are you most looking forward to at the Smart Voice Summit?

Meeting people from around the world that are innovating on the voice frontier. The technology is amazing, but the real impact is coming from entrepreneurs and innovators that are applying voice and AI in new ways. I want to hear more about their stories. Smartly has such a broad user base that I expect to learn a lot. Also, the location in Europe will be a great platform to hear some new voices and different perspectives.

Meet Bret at the Smart Voice Summit, get your tickets now!

BE THERE!

💸Why your bank needs a bot

We are living in an increasingly digital and connected world, which has had consequences on consumers’ expectations and exchanges with brands. Consumers today live in the moment, place great importance on customer experience and expect instant gratification. The interest in simple, intuitive technology has grown significantly within the banking sector in recent years. Thanks to technological advancements, banks can now interact with customers on their preferred messaging channels to improve customer experience, reduce friction and drive growth. We are starting to witness an increasing number of banks creating a conversational banking application, be it chat or voice based.

 

conversational banking application

A trend too big to ignore

Conversation banking, which refers to managing your finances through a voice and/or text interface, has taken off partly due to the increasing popularity of messaging platforms such as Whatsapp, which sends an average of 64 billion messages on a daily basis, as well as social media chat provided by the likes of Facebook. The market is expected to continue to boom, with experts predicting that messaging platforms will acquire one billion extra users by 2018, bringing the total to a whopping 3.6 billion users! Furthermore, platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana are being increasingly present in consumer lives. Strategy Analytics predicts that 24 million smart speakers will be shipped in 2017 on a global level. This reflects a 300% increase on the previous year. The increasing presence of smart speakers and messaging platforms is driving banks to create innovate conversational solutions in order to keep up with customer expectations and touch customers on the channels they use the most.

 

The current state of conversational banking

Recent improvements in Natural Language Understanding and Machine Learning mean that we can create even more sophisticated conversational bots that make it even easier for banks to communicate with customers in a two way manner across multiple touchpoints. As a consequence, an increasing number of banks are employing schemes that enable customers to interact with banking assistants in order to get information and make payments using their own voice or via textual chat.  Over 10 000 bots exist on Messenger including large financial corporations such as MasterCard and American Express. In October 2016 Bank of America announced the arrival of Erica, a bot that is designed to aide customers to make more intelligent decisions. Customers can interact with Erica using voice and text. Capital One launched its Alexa Skill that enables users to check their account balance in addition to making bill payments on Amazon’s smart speaker. Santander is also piloting a scheme to allow customers to make transfers to existing payees through speaking to their SmartBank app. The German online bank N26, Monzo and the Royal Bank of Canada also offers voice payments via Siri, and Bank of America and USAA are rolling out conversational interactions for their customers.

Advantages of conversational banking for banks

Beyond advantages of being available 24/7 and giving instant responses, conversational banking offers a seamless customer experience, enabling customers to interact with their bank in a frictionless manner using their preferred channels and methods of communication. Conversational AI is also making banking easier and more accessible to groups that may have had issues with traditional banking, such as the elderly or illiterate.

 

Proposing innovative banking solutions will also help banks to better reach certain customers. 92% of Millennials say they would make a banking choice based on digital services.

 

There is a common misconception that AI is making services standard and non-personable, when in fact it can make the customer experience even more personable. Banks can collect more nuanced data thanks to conversational banking, which can be used to create a more tailored service with cross and upselling opportunities. Identifying customer behavioural patterns and flagging anomalies could also help fight fraud. Banks can also connect their bots to customer services to enable humans to intervene when necessary to provide a better integrated and enhanced customer experience.

 

Conversational banking bots can manage tasks such as customer enquiries, servicing accounts and opening new accounts. Through automating these tasks banks can reduce costs associated with customer support and free up staff to deal with more complex tasks.

 

Bots can also help banks crack The Trust Equation. Trust is one of the most crucial factors for business success. The Trust Equation is an analytical model of trustworthiness. It uses four variables to create the following equation:

 

CREDIBILITY (Words) + RELIABILITY (Actions) + INTIMACY (Emotions)

SELF ORIENTATION (Motives)

Bots can help increase credibility through giving the right responses. They can also increase reliability through being available 24/7, and inspire intimacy through honest communication. All this plus focusing on customer needs means that bots are a real asset for improving trust.

The future of conversational banking

Conversational banking is new, but it is growing. AI and machine learning mean that banks can provide personalised and contextual responses to make banking even more convenient for the customer. Voice solutions will be important in banking as more smart speakers find their way into customer homes. The potential of voice in banking is enormous. Unfortunately, smart speakers are currently limited as they are not proactive or able to combine several elements of a consumer’s life (calendar, finances, e-commerce, etc), but it is only a matter of time before voice banking applications will be able to actively notify users when they are in their overdraft or warm them of their balance before they make a purchase. Although the future and limits of conversational banking are not 100% clear, one thing is certain, banks who are first to move and innovate in this sector will gain a competitive advantage over those who don’t!

🚘Alexa, where did I park my car?

Picture the scenes, you have just got into your house but you’re not sure whether you locked your car doors and turned off the light, you’ve got a long journey tomorrow but aren’t sure if you have enough fuel left or you have forgotten where you parked your car (admit it, it has happened to you ;))… Thanks to The Bot Studio’s Alexa skill, motorists who have a connected car thanks to installing Xee’s control box, will be able to ask Amazon’s Alexa these questions from the comfort of their living room.

My connected car

Although we are not quite yet at driverless cars, the automobile industry is rapidly evolving thanks to a variety of technologies that are making cars increasingly digitally connected in order to make the experience of driving safer, more pleasurable and more practical. Global sales of connected cars are expected to increase fourfold between 2015 and 2020, adding in excess of €110 billion (US$149 billion) in revenues in the passenger car segment alone.

The Bot Studio, a bot development agency dedicated to the automobile, mobility and transportation industry, has just developed its first Alexa Skill using Smartly.AI’s bot creation platform. The skill, named My Connected Car, allows Xee customers to access their connected car data using Alexa. Xee’s control box is fitted to the car’s diagnostic  port and enables the user to get their accelerometer, GPS chip and technical information. Thanks to the Alexa skill, users will be able to get this information through asking their smart speaker. Information such as where the car is parked, remaining fuel, mileage and whether the doors are locked and the engine is off.

Try it Now

Connected cars are a powerful tool for car manufacturers because they create a recurring relationship with the customer that was not possible before. The highly valuable experiences offered via connected cars create a deeper the relationship between the motorist and their vehicle and can increase loyalty and offer opportunities for branding and awareness. The My Connected Car Alexa skill enhances and facilitates this relationship through making it even easier for motorists to interact with their vehicle through their most user-friendly interface: voice.

🛒Boulanger Dives into Conversational Commerce With Their First Google Action

French household appliance and multimedia giant, Boulanger, has taken their first step towards conversational commerce and become the first mass retailer to launch a Google Action in France.

Boulanger Google Action

The Boulanger Google Action: What can it do?

The application enables shoppers to obtain information regarding store opening hours, store addresses and the closest store to the shopper’s location. It  also allows the shopper to organise a call back with a customer service representative in order to get information on a product, service or order. How does it work? Simply say “Parler avec Boulanger” to your Google Home or your Google Assistant via your mobile phone and ask away!

Test It Now

The Rise of Conversational Commerce

Leaps and bounds of progress have been made with regards to machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) meaning that conversational applications can have more engaging and human-like conversations. Conversational applications have particularly excelled in the commerce sector.  Conversational commerce, a term coined by Chris Messina, refers to the use of chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (ie: voice) to interact with people, brands or services. Conversational commerce is becoming an essential technology for retailers, enabling them to engage with their customers using their preferred communication channels to offer a more tailored and enjoyable customer experience. Brands who are visible on smart speakers such as Google Home are also viewed as innovant among consumers. Creating voice-enabled applications is becoming more popular with businesses, Monoprix and Sephora have both recently introduced their Google Actions. The innovation race is well underway in France!

A trailblazer in the commerce ecosystem

Google Home arrived in France this summer and until now the majority of actions have been in English. The company is the first mass retailer to launch a Google Action in France, confirming their position as an industry trailblazer with innovation and customer satisfaction at the core of their business. Find out more about the Boulanger Google Action and conversational commerce at The Smart Voice Summit, an event taking place in Paris on the 1st- 2nd February.