Alexa, can you hear me?

Last week I talked about one partnership that can put an end to the channel-focused business model that keeps in-store and online efforts working in silos. Retailers need to embrace new strategies to drive sales and develop an eCommerce strategy that is customer centric either on their own or with the right partner.

Amazon AlexaIt’s not just retail that stands to benefit from these partnerships though. Alphabet Inc. has partnered with Home Depot to add Google Home’s functionalities to retail stores later this fall.

How many of you have Alexa? Or an Echo?

The recent announcement is part of the jockeying by Amazon and Google looking to gain market share in the voice-controlled device arena. Google has really struggled in this space. It is estimated that 35 million Americans will speak to internet-connected devices at least once a month in 2017. About  71% will use Echo devices, and only about 24% will use the Google Home speaker.

Because of the nature of Home Depot’s product offerings (and rising home values that encourage consumers to spend more money on renovations), it faces less pressure from the online world than most. However, Home Depot clearly understands the value in developing an online strategy with a great partner.

So how will it work? Consumers will be able to shop at Home Depot with the help of the voice-activated capabilities of Google Home, making it easier for them to get help as they shop in store. This could alleviate the minutes lost for me as I wander aimlessly looking for what I need. This happens a lot actually. On the downside, it takes away from the human element of a sales person.

Home Depot has 2,282 stores worldwide, and all of their consumers will be able to either buy products on the Google Express website or app or buy in store through the voice-activated assistant. The company is focused on “delivering convenience and value as they continue to invest in best-in-class interconnected experiences for their customers,” says Home Depot’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kevin Hofmann.

Wonder what will be next?

Image courtesy of Amazon.

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