Target calls on Google for first voice-activated coupon
- Target and Google teamed up for a voice-activated coupon on Google Assistant, a first for the tech giant's digital assistant, according to Adweek.
- The promotion, originally slated to run longer, was cut short on April 3 because its goals were reached, a Target spokesperson told Adweek. Consumers could activate the discount by saying or typing "spring into Target" on their Google Assistant app on iOS or Android or other device that has the voice-based feature built in.
- Those who activated the coupon will receive $15 credit toward their next Target order made by April 21 through Google Express, the tech giant's home delivery shopping service, per a Google support page.
Despite a handful of early experiments, monetization of voice search remains mostly uncharted territory. This promotion, however, points to a potential use case that could boost sales for Target and ramp up loyalty for Google's voice tech, while also showing how voice-activated devices are good for more than simply playing music or checking the weather.
As consumers become increasingly accustomed to shopping and completing transactions with voice technology, it's a natural progression to receive product or retailer coupons through the same medium. Google recognizes the need for its digital assistant to have a strong shopping component if it is to compete against e-commerce giant Amazon's Alexa, the current leader in the digital assistant space.
The Target promotion is just one example demonstrating that the search giant is dead serious about prioritizing mobile as a shopping platform. The newly released "Shopping Actions" is an evolution of Google Express and surfaces products on newer platforms like Google Assistant to let people add products to a universal basket that connects mobile, browser and voice platforms for easier ordering. Early results from Shopping Actions seem promising, as Target found that the number of items in customers' Google Express carts jumped an average of 20%.
The availability of voice coupons from Target builds upon an existing partnership between the retailer and Google. Target was already a Google Express partner after testing the tech in California and New York and rolling out the feature to U.S. customers in October 2017. Like Google, Target is also competing with Amazon, and the series of new capabilities from the search giant and big box retailer points to a growing alliance of sorts as they lean on one another to try to gain a competitive advantage.
Follow Natalie Koltun on Twitter