BevMo! hears the voice of the consumer

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BevMo! hears the voice of the consumer

By Dan Berthiaume - 01/28/2019
Beverage retailer BevMo! is piloting a voice-activated shopping assistant in select stores.

BevMo! is running a test of the SmartAisle shopper platform at five locations in California through the end of March. Provided by marketing firm The Mars Agency, SmartAisle combines an intuitive voice interface, artificial intelligence (AI) engine and navigational LED shelf lights to provide customer support at the point of purchase.

The SmartAisle system is embedded in a stand-alone merchandising display in the lobby of each BevMo! store. It features roughly 50 whiskey bottles, an Amazon Echo smart speaker and custom instructional signage. Once initiated, SmartAisle guides shoppers through a few simple questions about their whiskey preferences, such as type, taste profile and price. It then filters the assortment down to three recommended bottles, reading out names and custom descriptions.

Shelf lights highlight the locations of the recommended bottles. Alternatively, shoppers can ask about a specific bottle or brand, and also receive a recommendation with a similar taste profile. The whole interaction is designed to last no longer than two minutes, and includes features such as additional product information, whiskey facts and jokes.

“We’re excited to partner with The Mars Agency and test the SmartAisle platform in our stores,” says Tamara Pattison, CMIO at BevMo!. “This simply enhances our commitment to using technology to offer better customer experiences and this kind of forward-thinking, in-store solution is totally in line with our strategy.”

BevMo! has been actively integrating leading-edge digital technologies into its store environment. The retailer recently partnered with PredictSpring to create a new unified mobile solution featuring a mobile consumer shopping app and a store associate app. The apps support rapid ordering and fulfillment options, inventory visibility, and incorporate access to the company’s loyalty program.