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Voice-activated whisky assistant trials in US

Global marketing company The Mars Agency has partnered with US drinks retailer BevMo! to trial a voice-activated, digital whisky shopping assistant.

Smart Aisle combines a voice-activated interface, artificial intelligence and LED shelf lights

The Mars Agency’s Smart Aisle platform has been created to assist shoppers with product selection, and offer information and educational tools at the point of purchase. The platform combines a voice-activated interface, artificial intelligence and LED shelf lights.

Smart Aisle will ask shoppers questions about their whisky preferences and then filter the assortment down to three recommended bottles, reading out names and descriptions. Shelf lights highlight the locations of the recommended bottles.

Shoppers can also ask the platform about a specific whisky or brand and receive a recommendation with a similar taste profile.

“We’re excited to partner with the Mars Agency and test the Smart Aisle platform in our stores,” says Tamara Pattison, chief marketing and information officer 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.”

The platform will be tested at BevMo! stores in California in Oakland, San Jose, Santa Clara, Mira Mesa and Carmel Mountain until the end of March.

The latest test for the platform follows a trial in New York for a similar Smart Aisle whisky selector. The two-month pilot resulted in a 20% year-on-year sales lift for the featured bottles and positive feedback from shoppers.

Ken Barnett, global CEO at the Mars Agency, said: “We believe Smart Aisle has the potential to transform the way people shop for products across a wide range of categories. We’re in discussions with several brands and retailers to turn that vision into reality.”

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