June 16, 2020 / 11:26 AM / 16 days ago

Carrefour, Google to launch voice grocery shopping service in France

FILE PHOTO: A worker pushes shopping trolleys to a Carrefour hypermarket in a deserted shopping centre in Charenton-le-Pont near Paris during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Carrefour and Google said on Tuesday they were launching a voice-based grocery shopping service in France as part of the French retailer’s ambition to accelerate its expansion into food e-commerce.

The service works via Google Assistant — a digital voice assistance service on smart phones and other devices — and is part of a strategic partnership between the two companies initiated in June 2018, the joint statement said.

“This innovation, developed with Google, will further accelerate the trajectory of e-commerce at Carrefour,” said Amelie Oudea-Castera, Carrefour’s Executive Director of E-Commerce, Data and Digital Transformation.

Carrefour is in the midst of a global overhaul to boost sales and profits and it plans to invest 2.8 billion euros in digital commerce by the end of the year in the face of competition from Amazon

It is aiming to increase food e-commerce sales to 4.2 billion euros by 2022 from 1.3 bilion euros in 2019 and 1.0 billion euros in 2018.

The new service will allow users who associate their Google account with their Carrefour account to add items to a shopping list by saying generic words such as butter or milk, or names of products or brands.

The Assistant, which is connected to Carrefour’s e-commerce inventory, then converts the list into a cart of products available on the Carrefour.fr website.

The specific items added to the shopping cart by Google Assistant will reflect the user’s product preferences, while giving them the option to delete, modify or add products.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Jason Neely, Kirsten Donovan

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