Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2016, 05:09 PM UPDATED 9:59 AMBy Chris Hart-Williams
CARY, N.C. -
Artificial intelligent devices like Amazon’s virtual assistant smart speaker, Echo, makes it easier for consumers to purchase items from its online store, paving the way for future online vehicle shopping and research using virtual personal assistants.
Information that is spoken to software on a device that processes the natural and conversational voice of users are likely to be more detailed than ones typed on a screen.
The speech recognition capabilities of Alexa, the artificial intelligence brain of Amazon Echo and similar products like the recently released Google Home designed to detect and recognize voices allow users to speak as if talking to another person.
“About one in five consumers are likely to use a mobile or wearable device to research and buy vehicles online and from our perspective, this means that car shoppers will be comfortable making purchases on a device like Amazon Echo,” said PureCars chief executive officer, Jeremy Anspach.
Similar to how people speak to wearable devices like a personal assistant, Anspach expects that will happen with Amazon Echo as well.
Searches such as “used BMW for sale” or “used BMW 328 for sale” typed into a search engine are common, but more detailed queries spoken to a voice controlled device could sound like “I’m looking for a used BMW 328 with Bluetooth navigation and preferably silver for sale for under $30,000 find it,” according to Anspach.
Dealer’s digital advertising providers having the right tools in hand is vital to leveraging any imminent detailed searches.
“As Echo and other devices like it expand, there’s going to be more decisions that need to be made related to where to buy media,” said Anspach. “That’s not a shift that the dealer is going to need to think too much about, it’s the confidence level they have in their provider to know that the ad budget is spent appropriately.”
Anspach went on to say, “The dealer today is already investing in traditional and digital media, where the dealer needs to make a wise decision is whether his provider is one who can understand which vehicles on the lot need to be marketed and on what media.”
Echo uses Amazon Web Services to recognize and respond to requests processed in the cloud.
Amazon continues to gain third party support for the Echo; there are currently more than 3,000 apps for the device.
Alexa has the potential to be integrated with a number of other appliances and products including cars.