Google might enter the business of laundry detergent.
Technology is so advanced today that even grabbing your phone, unlocking it and typing something in search box seems to add friction. Some people just say ‘Alexa, what’s the weather today?’
Yes, I’m talking about voice technology.
What is the future of voice?
You say, “Alexa, call an Uber” and Uber is at your doorstep.
You say, “Alexa, call dad” and he’s on line.
You say, “Alexa, buy laundry detergent” and Amazon delivers its private-label detergent to your place within hours (assuming one-day delivery becomes a thing).
That all sounds great. Voice commerce is coming.
So who’s gonna win in this new industry?
Amazon has huge leverage here. It controls both the voice technology and the marketplace. We also know about their ever-expanding private-label called Amazon Basics, that tends to always rank highest in search results.
Well, I don’t wanna go into how Amazon is undercutting small businesses with their private-label. But, this private-label is definitely going to help Amazon dominate voice commerce.
Imagine how clumsy the shopping experience would be using your voice assistant. You say, “Alexa, buy me detergent” and Alexa just spells out every single detail of all the detergents for you to choose from. That’s such a waste of time. It defeats the purpose.
Amazon maybe knew this. By creating a private-label, Amazon can always default to its own products and save you time. Good for users and beautiful for Amazon.
And people trust Amazon. If they can deliver your groceries (Whole Foods), run Netflix (AWS) and produce Jack Ryan (Prime Video), I bet they can make a nice-smelling detergent.
When voice commerce becomes real, people will begin using batteries, mattresses, dumbbells and campfire roasting sticks made by Amazon. I’m not making things up here. Yes, the e-commerce giant, who is also the leader in cloud computing, makes 11.5 to 45 inch adjustable campfire roasting sticks in its past time.
So who are the other contenders in Voice commerce?
Google, kind of. Google knows that Amazon is way ahead in the game. To compete, they have 2 options –
1. Partner with other e-commerce platforms like Walmart.
2. or, launch their own private label.
Moving ahead with any one of the above will be a massive undertaking.
So what’s the plan?
Well, Google is changing things a bit. Instead of solely relying on voice input, Google is pivoting towards smart devices like the Nest Home Hub. Similar to Amazon’s Echo Show, it comes with a large display that adds visuals to otherwise plain audio.
So after you say, “Hey Google, buy detergent”, your Nest Home Hub pulls up the options on the screen for you to choose from. Very convenient.
However, Amazon still has a leg up, as it completely skips the choice step and saves the user time. What is Google going to do about it?
I guess Google is cooking up a detergent somewhere.