What Voice Shopping Means for Private Brands

This guest post comes from Kelly Thompson Kell, North American Market Strategy Director for Trace One.

Grocery shoppers truly want to feel heard. That’s why more consumers are embracing smart speakers and voice assistant technology, specifically Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, to shop from anywhere using only their voice. Voice shopping is growing so fast experts predict voice orders will soar from $2 billion in 2018 to $40 billion by 2022 in the U.S. alone.

Private brands managers need to pay attention to this trend because consumers crave the ease, convenience and time savings of using voice technology to make e-commerce even faster. A remarkable 56% of consumers who shop for groceries online either already use a voice-controlled smart speaker or plan to purchase one within the next six months.
Consumers use voice technology to efficiently create shopping lists, receive sales announcements, find stores, search for products, and place orders. The popularity of this technology means private brands need a presence on voice platforms to reach grocery shoppers, and remain relevant and competitive.

Amazon uses its own voice technology to promote its private brands. As Bain & Co. found, when voice shoppers make a first-time purchase without specifying a brand, Alexa is more likely to recommend an Amazon private brand in that category.

In time for Thanksgiving, Kroger launched voice-assisted ordering for online grocery shopping using Google Assistant, Walmart, Target,and Carrefour also partnered with Google to sell their products, including private brands, to voice shoppers.

Meanwhile, consumer packaged goods (CPG) leaders have created content to reach voice shoppers. P&G developed a Tide-branded Alexa app to provide tips on how to clean stains, and Unilever developed Alexa apps to share free recipes.

To prepare a proactive voice strategy, retail companies can collaborate with their trading partners to share accurate information, and focus on popular, unique private brand products to boost their visibility and sales among voice shoppers.


Kelly Thompson Kell
North American Market Strategy Director, Trace One

Kelly is a thought leader in the areas of food product development, grocery technology strategy and supplier-retailer collaboration. Her 13 years of internal consulting, strategy engagement, and project leadership within the technology, retail, and CPG industries allow her to bring first-hand experience to the table.

Given her involvement in private label grocery sourcing at Target Corporation and her background as a food scientist and business consultant at Nestle, Kelly sees a strong need to improve communication between grocers and suppliers during the product development process.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.