Matt Ware and Lachlan Pottenger of First Talk Voice Shopping in Australia - Voicebot Podcast Ep 85
Does episode number eighty five of the forest podcast. Today's guests are Matt ware and Lachlan pottenger of I they talk voice shopping through Google assistant in Australia and give a real world example. Welcome back for spot nation breath can sell your host of the voice about podcast this week. We have a live interview with Lachlan pottenger in Matt where of first big agency, doing voice, apps out of Australia. I interviewed them onsite at the business of bots conference in San Francisco. Earlier this month, we talk about one of the leading Google actions in Australia by the retailer KMart which is doing extremely well. It's an interesting use case that includes back end integration. And as a result is even more sophisticated than most of the retailer voice apps in the US today. But before we speak with our guest this week. I wanna do a quick listener. Shoutout. We haven't done this in a while for our podcast listeners are podcast reviewers and this week. I thought I'd point out that the user IM Hollarin'. So I am Hollarin' a left a five star review and apple podcast saying I quote, this is always a great podcast. Listen to lots of great information and insights about the voice and world with emphasis on designing for voice. And the special challenges that surround that be sure to check it out. Well, you are already here and checking it out, but I bet most of you have never left a five star review. Or if you have you might not have left some comments. So please give us review in your favorite podcast player. And you just might hear your name called out in the podcast. So thanks again. I am hollering. We've also been getting a lot of shoutouts Twitter of late Jordan worse. Brock wrote last week, quote getting caught up and voice podcast from and seller while shoveling snow the episodes on conversational storytelling with talked about s-. And that's Stapleton and interactive voice gaming for driving with Nico. The fin were super informative, and quote, those are episodes with Amy Stapleton and Nico Vuori great insights from both of those guests in episodes, eighty one eighty four you should definitely check those out if you have not already. So it's time for this week's interview, a quick note that this interview is shorter than usual since we we're on site and a bit time constraint. However. We speak about voice shopping as a use case. I've added some thoughts of my own as an appendix to this interview. So stick around afterwards after the interviews completed and you'll get a little bit more from voice, bots Pacific around voice shopping and voice commerce now to this week's interview. Okay. This is Brett Kelly here with Matt ware and Lachlan pottenger from I they are the leading voice agency. There large digital agency out of Australia. And they just made a presentation about some work. They did for K, mart and Australia. And so I wanted to learn a little bit more to share with voice by listeners. So my first question for you is can you just give quick summary of what kmarts objective was and what you deployed for them. So it came out came to us and say they are lottery Tyler in Austria. And we had a lot of talks with them about their product database, and we came to the conclusion that the best use case for them was actually gift finding in particular because of the time of year coming up to Christmas people always looking for gifts. It's a really great use case gave us. The ability to use location. Dada. Product Dada and provide recommendations, which is a really nice assistant function to put inside an action. So that was Lachlan's speaking. No. Luckily, their objective was to drive more sales to just get involved in voice to drive experience drive transactions foot traffic, what wasn't differently not make Silas because transactions on available in Australia yet, but to be a footprint there really progressive company they exploited from channels. They have really good news center design team in house, and they talk well to each other all of the departments inside the business and felt that the voice channel such as it is becoming very popular they needed to be there, and they needed to do something that was pretty robust. They didn't want to just have a about climate action. They wanted to actually expose the products because that is important for them. When did this live in November November last year between eighteen okay? So walk me through is a. A user. What's my experience? Typical users experiences to come in. And we we essentially suggest that this is a gift find and that they can osc to find a gift. So we made sure that we catered for the different ways that people could offer a gift there is that individual who says I'm looking for gift mom, or I'm looking from my wife, I'm looking at full my son. But then this that individual who needs help finding a gift so they're gonna come in. And they called the bicycle saying, I need help helped me find something. And that's where we take them through a step through when he'd to find out who that gives his fours and that oughta child what age might that child bay. And and of course, what's budget? That's very important to and then we can present information. But the the other way that we made sure that we catered for was when he us hit something li-. Okay. I'm looking for a gift for my nine year old son and go twenty five dollars. And then we know. Well, okay. It's male child nine years old budget constraint. And then we can again, we can we can lean on how recommend. Dacian engine that we built him we can present a relevant product. Okay. So you launched in November. And that took you through the holiday season, we're in February now of twenty nineteen so Matt could you tell us a little bit about what the experience wasn't terms of the usage rate sort of leading up to Christmas after Christmas. Yes. So unsee problem. Surprisingly enough. We actually had a fairly consistent usage right from the day that we lost all the way through until Christmas of paper. We're discovering the brand is fairly strong, which is good enough. A paper also actually identified it was working talking with a consistent by somebody was saying a fairly substantial numbers coming through. Then post Christmas, we saw a huge spike in usage oughta sumptious because we sold this across a lot of the actions that we actually managed for other clients as well was that there was a large spike in sales, all slots bakers, especially the good one because this was built on the Google assistant platform. So as to that there was a lot of people testing out, but the number itself didn't actually declined to the same levels as pre-christmas the number of us a levels actually remained. Above the pre-christmas level. So this man there was now a consistent user base that was staying in there. And in addition to that, we probably saw fairly substantial return right roughly around about thirty percent of uses coming through or actually returning uses. So obviously the information to be giving them was valuable enough that they wanted to come back continue interacting with the action. What did you expect your return user Reiter, your retention rate to be to expect it to be that? I. We probably would have been happy. If we'd have seen Fahd's a ten percent return to write a fairly, high return user rights shows that not only as they appetite inside of a stray Leah for voice. But there's also appetite for cystic voice, so tools that are actually giving them something that they are looking for in a way that they can manage and use and be able to take action from that. They may not be able to buy through the action at the current time. But they can't find out if that products in their local store how much it is is it in stock where that stories and what time it closes as well. So we can pretty much close the loop as far as you possibly can without actually closing the sale in terms of helping move the sale forward. If it's not in stock. I think you're using GPS signals is correct. So it's either going to be the home location, if it through the speaker or GPS if it's one of the other devices so screen device, and in that instance, there we weren't just look at the nearest store if the product isn't available in the. Nearest store. We will actually take a concentric ring and say it's not available in this store. However, it is available in this store, which is the next nearest store that has an in stock. So we will actually give them the option to them be able to determine do I want to take that extra step and that little bit further to get this product, we're hopeful, and we believe father that's actually been pretty successful as well. So when we look at that in terms of the the ability to use and those types of things was that an important feature for K mart around using Google was that because it's not just the smart speaker. But it's also the phone as well, look, I believe that. It's the fact that Australia with seeing in aggregate. I've like I said across we've got probably around about anywhere between ten fifty and actions county in machen across various verticals. We're seeing around about sixty percent of uses coming through using screen device. Australia has a fairly strong installed base of smart speakers. At the last time that you did a report it was about five percents that can faucets option after Canada and. Very strong ability post Christmas that number is growing dramatically once again, but was still saying the speakers also at the foreign Spain the tool that people using to access the actions the whole so not just the ability to be able to access where that Usery's in the moment and guide them to the best store. But also the fact that you can actually give them the information that they're looking for in a way that's going to be manageable, not just via voice, also screened. So you can give them the visuals of the pace of information allow them to link to the website, if they really want more data and also and interact with in public environments. So the assistant itself fees able to be what the user wants to be not just something you have to talk with. Yeah. It sounds like you had to do really deep integration with the back end in order to be able to fulfill this experience. So it's not just talking about the products that are available. But you're saying the products that have excuse me, what the products are. But you're actually giving them pricing availability all those other things. And so this is set up for. Completing a transaction as soon as that capabilities. Brought to us right? Correct. Correct. It's multimodal. So we are giving different answers depending upon what device the user has decided to interact with the brand through. So if it's through a speaker, we give them one product, and then we allow them to say I want to speak to the next product. If it's virus screen device, we give them scrawling carousel. So we get from three to five products as the as the answer. And then exactly that when the time comes that transactions is something the client wants to step into or when they want to be able to do click and collect voice with I just want to be able to pick it up from my local stole the building blocks already. There should be able to go down that path. And then it's just going to be does the company want to utilize payment gateway? So the native ones that Google will have built in or do they want to do a deep integration to their own billing system? So they're actually transacting with the user knowing who they are. Great. So luckily you ever saw the creative team, and I presume there was a lot of interesting you X learnings. Once you went live. What comes to mind is some of the things that may be surprised you and that you had a correct for. I asked a good question. Obviously, there would have small sort of very nuanced language things that we had to take care of. But on top of that, it was it was actually just the broad range of general inquiry that we found in the assistant. So we we obviously we had this very cool. Use case that we wanted to to to build properly, but we then found that that people were coming in. And you know, they might have found a gift, but then are asking, you know, what to tell me about the company or what what? Think some good he's. Yeah. We had returns policies people asking about layby. Do you price-match a whole bunch of this sort of other broad suite of general inquiry? Now, we we'd paid it to some of that. But we sort of constantly adding little bits and paces as we go along. Yeah. That's great. Okay. So Matt what's next for K mart in terms of their voice application strategy? Are they are they going to Alexa, just going to go deeper with Google assistant? Are they thinking about Bixby? What do they what's next? That which I can talk about look I would suggest in the medium-term. It's going to be a continuation upon the Google platform. They've already invested in that particular one it's working it's going well, and you know, straight specifically the market shale of Google because Google was actually the first to market there is huge. Yes, Siri was there before it was everybody that I o s but it's not necessarily the same use type or what people using it for where the going with a look I believe that they will be moving down the path of transactions. They will be moving down the path of assistive information. We're also looking at being able to integrate some of wide messaging further and example of this is we're talking about but Unity's to be able to actually watch TV ad and then open up the Google actions and say talk to KMart I wanna buy the leggings that were just on the table yet. So actually having it to be reflective of what they're doing in a wide scope and make that same listen fiction list as possible. Also, I believe that is probably going to be the addition of other specific built vertical actions inside of it. So gift finding has been the first one, but the next one might be I want to create a nursery or I want to do this. And there's going to be all of the pre existing information, which they have which is I suppose that inspiration style stuff actually, then reflected in a way that uses can begin to access and unlock that via this channel. So tell the voice about listeners a little bit about I I is actually started out back in nine hundred ninety nine as an SEO agency. There was in a couple of other agencies in their locking them was actually founder of a designer. And we had another development agency. We had a lead generation business. We were we were almost a loose confederation of multiple different agencies that intellect ended up being combined together under one umbrella from company called on media beyond mediated television shows like Mythbusters and then a roundabout seventies ago. Now, I think it was. Six seven years ago. They combined all of those agencies into one and call them first. So we have a strong history in SEO paid media design development at user experience and so forth. So the goal of moving into voice was really a very natural one for us and the goal of looking at the way that discovery works, especially in something like the Google platform where you can actually get surfaced and recommended is almost an extension of what we were doing previously in the website design pace just now bringing to the full the ability for people to be able to experience that via the method that they want to interact with brands. It's great. So how can the voice about listeners? Learn more about I well, they can get in contact with us via website, they can eve by info at first Conde you or if they really want to they can find phone numbers on our website and call us in Australia. Can you wanna give your phone number out to the voice by listening right now? Sure. No, actually. Okay. Hey, thanks. A lot guys for joining me where business abouts in San Francisco this week, Matt and Lachlan just made a presentation to a packed room around their work K mart. And some of the things they're doing a lot of really interesting things. I know most of the people who listen to this are focused on the US or European market. But we do have actually a pretty good size ustralian contingent. So they'll be happy to hear about this. But I think there's actually some really sophisticated things that Lachlan and Matt and the team did with K mart, which is exceeds what we've seen in in most cases in the US. So thanks guys. Appreciate it. I really appreciate Matt and Lachlan sharing their experience the KMart Google action in Australia is an interesting example of how voice shopping is evolving today, when some people think about voice commerce there intently, and sometimes solely focused on the purchase transaction the contest that the purchases what it's all about. That's where the money is exchanged in the cellar captures revenue while the intermediary might capture a small margin. We see this view at voice by as short-sighted mobile. First emerged as a shopping channel it often led to purchases completed on websites or in store, and this still happens today, the mobile also sometimes pulls up directions to physical store if that search leads to an in-store purchase. Would we say that mobile commerce played no role in the transaction? Similarly, social media is a key channel today for product scullery with the actual purchase typically shifting to mobile or retailer website. These are examples of activities in one channel leading directly to purchase. In a second channel. This is likely. How voice shopping will evolve as well. So yes, there is Amazon direct purchasing through Alexa, Google system purchasing through Google express directly from product sellers in the US, however, far more people are using voice to initiate purchase processes than to complete one at this point. And that really makes a lot of sense last year voice about worked with voices in our voice shopping consumer adoption report, you can check that out at voice about that Ford slash research. Four spot dot four slash research. The voice shopping consumer adoption report in that we presented a shopping process with four stages information search consideration purchase decision and payment receipt of goods right now voice shopping's generating a lot more activity in the first two steps than the ladder two. And that is likely to change over time. So KMart Australia is use case of the gift finder. Is a perfect example. It's enabling product discovery providing additional information for the consideration phase. And even telling the consumer. About availability by store and his turned out to be fairly sticky. As you heard with thirty percent consumers returning. This is really astounding. If you think about this thirty percent retention rate, and it's helping clearly to drive sales. So my recommendation for voice f-, strategists designers is to think about the overall impact you can have I and KMart weren't deterred by the lack of transaction capabilities at this time on Google for Google actions in Australia. Right. So you can do the purchase transactions. The USB. Can't do it today in Australia, but they still moved ahead. They went ahead and built an action that could walk the consumer well down the purchase process as far as possible. And then move them to another channel to complete the purchase. This is a direct impact by voice as a channel commerce transactions. So I see this bias towards voice only interactions across other use cases as well. For example, some organizations with in depth content. If concluded that will lead to a poor user experienced the length of the material that they typically produce. However that assumes your interaction is limited to one channel or mode in this case, they could instead have short excerpts of their key data information, it could be read by the voice assistant, and then offer a call to action to learn more by providing a link to mobile or website that provides immediate value with the excerpt and offers user choice to go deeper on another channel if desired so juniper ruled out in estimate earlier this month voice commerce, worldwide will be eighty billion dollars and twenty twenty three OCSE's strategy estimated last year that just in the US and UK voice commerce will count for forty five billion dollars in twenty twenty two. We will know for years. Whether either firm is correct. However, we are already seeing talk about billions of dollars of commerce conducted by voice and that does not include information search and consideration phases. So the total impact of voice will be much much higher. This is a direct result of voice being a powerful tool for product discovery and information retrieval one more thing to consider on this. Many people are also thinking about voice commerce in terms of physical product sales. Digital product sales are likely to lead the rise voice shopping voice commerce voices exceptional at complex inputs and simple outputs in media and game searches often include those complex inputs in terms of all the variables you need to ask for to find the type of media one. And the output is simple as it simply a digital payload social media was built on mobile app. Install ads voice could wind up being driven by something. Equally simple from a commerce perspective. So thanks again to Matt ware and Lynn pottenger for sharing their voice shopping use case, it's far more sophisticated than most of the voice app. Retail. Use cases, I've seen in the US or candidate today for that example. And it turns out to be a perfect example of how voice shopping invoice commerce is likely to evolve. So come back next week. We have an amazing episode looking at voice security, but this week consider yourself. Better informed about the future, voice shopping and voice commerce.