Carrefour and Google are launching today in France a new voice-based e-commerce grocery shopping experience within the framework of their strategic partnership signed in June 2018. As the first retailer in the world to offer its customers the new integrated voice shopping service on the Google Assistant, Carrefour continues to build on its multichannel offering. Based on a combination of advanced technologies, this innovative service simplifies and personalizes the grocery shopping experience while protecting the personal data of users.
An innovative new service that simplifies and personalizes the grocery shopping experience
As it accelerates in n the e-commerce market, Carrefour is expanding the range of services it offers customers by adding a new channel: voice. A technology already adopted by 46% of French people (source: CSA and Hadopi study, Voice Assistants and connected speakers, May 2019), this is a rapidly growing sector. The new voice-enabled grocery shopping service launched today with Google is based on the Google Assistant: a digital assistant available on smartphones and compatible smart speakers and connected screens.
Carrefour is the first retailer in the world to integrate with the Google Assistant’s voice-based shopping service, developed by both partners. This integration enabled a triple innovation:
- The Google Assistant allows the user to add items to their shopping list by voice using common words such as butter, milk and cheese. Because the Assistant is connected to Carrefour's e-commerce inventory, it is then able to convert that list into a cart of products available for sale on carrefour.fr;
- the conversion is customized, so the specific items added to the shopping cart by the Google Assistant reflect the user’s product preferences as closely as possible, while leaving the user free to delete, modify or add products as they wish;
- once the shopping cart is confirmed on the Google Assistant, the customer moves seamlessly to Carrefour's e-commerce site to finalize their order, confirm their slot and delivery method (drive, drive piéton or home delivery), pay and take advantage of their loyalty benefits.
Building on the technological integration between the two partners, Google and Carrefour, as well as advances in voice recognition and artificial intelligence, this new and constantly evolving service simplifies and customizes the e-commerce grocery shopping experience.
Three key user features for users
Voice command: simply say "Ok Google, je veux faire les courses" (French for: “Ok Google, I want to go grocery shopping”) to start the experience on the Google Assistant and build a shopping list using natural language. Thanks to its advanced voice-recognition technology, the Google Assistant can handle generic words such as “fromage” (“cheese”), product names like “Comté 18 mois” (“Comté 18 months”) or brand names such as “Comté Carrefour bio” (“Carrefour Bio comté”).
Shared shopping list: at any time, the customer can share their list with people of their choosing, such as family members, who can add the items they want. If the customer wishes to remain the only user who can access the list, the optional "Voice Match" feature on the Google Assistant can be configured to respond only to that customer's voice.
Preferred product recognition: The Google Assistant converts the shopping list into a shopping cart proposing specific and personalized items that most closely reflect the customer’s preferences, either because they are known (the customer has already purchased the product at Carrefour) or because the Google Assistant deduces those preferences (based on the general purchasing habits of the customer at Carrefour if the customer already shops with Carrefour ex. preference for organic products, own-brand, etc. - as well as the best price available and the best sellers out of the 27,000 items available on Carrefour.fr). If the customer has never bought items from Carrefour before, the Google Assistant only takes into account the last two criteria to suggest items for their cart. The Google Assistant learns as people use it and improves its recommendations to continually provide better service. The customer is not required to accept the products recommended by the Google Assistant and can modify or delete items, or add new items to complete their cart.
Safeguarding users’ personal data
The user must associate their Google Account with their Carrefour Account for the shopping experience to work and for the user to be offered relevant product recommendations. When the user agrees to associate the two accounts, they also authorize Carrefour France to share the history of their purchases at Carrefour with Google.
If the customer already has a purchase history at Carrefour, Google will use it to recommend products. Otherwise, Google Assistant will initially base its recommendations on the best available prices and the best sellers on carrefour.fr.
The user can withdraw their consent at any time and disassociate their accounts. Carrefour will no longer share the customer’s purchase history with Google, and Google will delete any data transferred. This happens automatically if the voice-based grocery shopping experience is not used for 30 days.
Lastly, Carrefour, in accordance with the General Regulations on the Protection of Personal Data in France, provides users with a dedicated area where they can exercise their rights of access, rectification, blocking, erasure and objection, etc.
A digital campaign to support the launch
From 16 June, an advertising campaign created by the agency Marcel will appear on YouTube, display and social media. It will also appear on all Carrefour channels, including carrefour.fr, CRM, catalogues, and stores.
"The partnership developed with Google gives Carrefour a head start in terms of technology and customer experience. Carrefour is the first retailer in the world to integrate with the new voice-based grocery shopping experience on the Google Assistant. This innovation, developed with Google, will further accelerate the trajectory of e-commerce at Carrefour," explains Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, Carrefour Group's Executive Director of E-Commerce, Data and Digital Transformation.
"Google's core business is to provide information and technology that are helpful on a daily basis, and we are proud to have been able to offer an iconic retailer like Carrefour with the best of our technology and expertise to rethink and simplify the grocery shopping experience," says François Loviton, Director of Brands & Commerce, Google France.