BUSINESS

Shopping via voice to advance from speakers to mobile app

By Won Ho-jung
  • Published : Nov 9, 2017 - 17:12
  • Updated : Nov 9, 2017 - 17:12
Voice-activated shopping technology is poised to shift from speakers with artificial intelligence to mobile applications, with a major retailer preparing a voice-activated shopping service for its mobile app.

Lotte’s online store Lotte.com confirmed Thursday that it will be launching a voice-activated search-and-buy service through its mobile app on Nov. 22. In addition to the existing voice search function, the new service will allow customers to complete purchasing transactions solely through voice activation. 

(123rf)

“We are planning to begin with food products that do not require complex orders and that customers buy often,” a spokesperson for Lotte.com said. 

The online mall is planning to create a separate store with products such as instant noodles or bottled water that will use the voice-activated service.

“Complex commands such as recommendations for fashion items will come at the very end of the development process,” the spokesperson said.

Lotte.com will be the first company to adopt voice-activated purchases on a mobile app. So far, voice purchases are available through the AI speaker Nugu from SK Telecom, which allows consumers to order recommended products from SK Planet’s 11st open market as well as order chicken and pizza.

Retailers are competing to develop new AI and voice-activated services ahead of consumer demand, according to an official with SK Telecom.

“It has been about a year since we introduced voice ordering, but the number of orders is still relatively low,” the official said. “As we continue to develop our services, we are waiting for consumers to become more accustomed to voice ordering.”

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)