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Google has introduced its first voice-enabled coupons for Google Assistant.

Google has introduced its first voice-enabled coupons for Google Assistant.
The digital world is evolving day by day and more hyped-up, dynamic and influential than ever before. Recently, Google distributed its first voice-enabled coupon with an association with Target Corporation. It is the second-largest discount store retailer in the United States, behind Walmart. Google and Target joined forces for voice-activated coupons on Google Assistant and distributed them offering customers $15 off Target purchases placed on Google Express through Google Assistant -desktop, mobile or Google Assistant enabled devices. The offer ended early on April 3rd because its goals were met and customers who had already activated the offer will have until April 21st to activate it. According to the Google Express Help page, no new codes will be issued and the offer is limited to one per account. Anyone who claimed the coupon has until April 21st to claim their discount. Originally, Target had planned to run the coupon program through that date, but the company informed that the program met its goals early and is no longer available. The promotion is more than just a passing experiment in voice-activated e-commerce. It represents Google’s strong desire to push the Google Assistant further by not only adding a shopping component but by normalizing it. Details and Implications: In the first-to-market partnership with Target, Google introduced a voice-activated coupon to drive adoption of both Voice Search and Google Express. Google Express is a universal shopping cart that allows online purchases from multiple retailers within a single checkout. To redeem the coupon customers using Google Home or devices with Google Assistant simply had to say, ‘Spring into Target’ to activate $15 off Target purchases exclusively on Google Express. Although some customers had problems while using the promo phrase to receive their coupon as Google Assistant misunderstanding ‘into’ to ‘in to’. According to Target, the promotion was a great success and though no specific ROI metrics were mentioned, ‘goals were met, and they were met early’. With the same success, Target and Google are working for the next establishment to replicate same joy of shopping into the stylish and affordable version. In the US, Amazon Echo has more than twice the penetration of Google Home (13.9% vs. 5.9%, Kantar WorldPanel), however, Google is positioning itself to become a market leader in Voice Commerce given the penetration of Android Smartphones there (62%, Kantar WorldPanel). Though it must be noted that Google Assistant only runs on the Marshmallow OS and above (52% of the 62% of Android users have access to Google Assistant). Also, Google and Walmart ran a program in October that gave users who purchased a Google Home or Google Home Mini – a $25 credit for shopping through Google Express. However it was not a voiced accessed coupon, they received a coupon for an order which was done through a VISUAL flow from a Google Home device. Keeping this in mind, then yes, the Target coupon is the first known voice-enabled coupon. Conclusion: Google is making various efforts to introduce Voice Commerce through Google Assistant and Google Home as the new trend to be followed since  2017. The Target experiment is further evidence that promotions are popular. In fact, Voicebot’s survey found that:
  • Nearly 37% of all Google Home users have made a voice shopping purchase which is a higher percentage than owners of Amazon Echo smart speakers.
  • Google extended voice commerce capabilities in March 2018 with a series of capabilities that Google Assistant app developers can add their voice apps to support shopping.
All of these data points suggest voice shopping can tap into existing consumer interest and that voice assistant is destined to become a significant channel for e-commerce sales. With the distribution of the first voice-activated coupon within the Google ecosystem, Google is hoping that more retailers would like to be part of this voice commerce trend. Till now the results seem to be overwhelmingly positive, aside from the odd technical snag. By keeping Voice Commerce in mind, Amazon has also buckled up in the same way and is actively encouraging Voice Search by heavily discounting its range of voice-enabled devices. It’s proof that both are betting heavily on the future of Voice and AI at the risk of short-term revenue.
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