While Amazon still commands the smart speaker market, Google is slowly closing the market share gap. In Q2, the tech giant surpassed Amazon in global shipments of smart devices, rolling out 5.4 million units to Amazon’s 4.1 million. To help traditional retailers face increased competition from Amazon, Google rolled out its voice-focused Shopping Actions program earlier this year, which allows retailers to advertise products to users across a variety of devices and apps including Google Express, Google Search, and Google Assistant.
In addition to this effort, Google has equipped Google Home with various settings that enable the device to sustain engagement with users and maintain conversations. Google Home was able to supply recommendations for 93% of queries tested in Gartner L2’s report on voice commerce; if the device ran out of recommendations or was unable to supply a suggestion, it either directed users to the nearest retail location (when possible) or let them add the items to a shopping list.
Google also collaborates with retailers to create custom commands for Google Home. UK retailer Argos recently announced that it launched a shopping service on Google Home that allowed customers to inquire about product availability and reserve items to pick up in stores, expanding the range of possible voice-enabled interactions. Similarly, digital leader Starbucks partnered with Google to allow Starbucks Rewards members to link account information with Google Home, increasing login conversions by nearly 50%.