gigaaa in 2019

In 2018 AI personal assistants have started to change the game for users, marketers, and retailers. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant have taken the lead in a race that looks like the ultimate technology to control user and user’s decision-making. But what did retailers and marketers do to adapt to this new paradigm?

Well, they simply connected to Amazon and Google and follow in a passive way what happens next. Some people understand that Voice interfaces are pretty cool and simple to use, but most people have no understanding and even worse, most companies do not understand the consequences of latest developments in the market led by Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The reality is, if they make a wrong decision in 2019, they are likely to disappear in the next decade from the market forever. This reminds me of a song by Mike & the mechanics and it goes like this:

“Now that you’ve gone, How can I go on?

I can’t believe, this could happen to me

Now that you’ve gone, I’ve got to find a way

I need to know life goes on, Now that you’ve gone” 😊

What makes this momentum so important? First, it is important to understand the impact of Smart Voice Interface. Some people say it will kill or replace existing Interfaces. But I can tell you after five years of development, Voice won’t replace anything. The standard way that technology arrives is to add more than replace. The TV didn’t replace the radio. VHS and then streamed movies didn’t replace the cinema. The microwave didn’t destroy the cooker. Touchscreens are terrible in cars and on gym equipment, but they are great at making tactile applications. Computer mice are great to point and click. Each input does very different things brilliantly and badly. We have learned to know what the best use for each is. So, Voice Interfaces will not replace the keyboard or touchscreen devices — it will become an additional way to do stuff. So far so good! We have seen keyboards in the 1960s, the computer mouse from the 1970s, the touchscreen in the 2000s and now we see the voice interface. The difference is, and now please pay a little more attention to this:

Voice is the only natural way of communication and that´s why it will become by far the most important input channel to interact with machines.

Making simple voice commands is easier than anything else to get outputs from and give inputs into machines. People don´t really care about the processes behind the technology, they just want it to happen in a most simple and convenient way. People want an outcome and don’t care how it happens. I don´t want to press 10 buttons to make a money transfer happen. I want to say: “send 50 Euros to Marco” and that´s it! That´s why voice Interfaces will allow companies to build a new, a simple customer experience on top of the internet for digital services they already offer as mobile apps but making it now easier to use than ever before.

If you now combine the comfort of Voice Interfaces with Artificial Intelligence, then you get to a product like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The success of Amazon Alexa is a gift for technology provider like us because the promotion power of Amazon helped people to understand the comfort of voice interfaces. But Amazon is at the same time also a threat to people’s privacy and so many businesses.

There is a growing awareness in the retail industry that the increasing use of voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa or “Google Home” is threatening the existence of traditional businesses. Voice assistants will fundamentally change the economy. For example, more than 40 percent of German E-Commerce is already conducted via the Amazon platform. According to studies, every fourth German citizen has already made purchases via smart voice assistants. The study of the Consulting Agency OC&C showed that 85 % of the customers bought a product, which Alexa, Amazons voice assistant, suggested to them. The consequences of the new development for the trade are fatal. Smart Voice assistants can become an existential threat for retailers. Those services who are not accessible via voice assistants, will soon no longer be present in the business.

Amazon is increasingly cutting off all dealers from direct contact with customers because customers only use the perfectly developed interface of the US group. Already today, the vast majority of online consumers no longer start a product search on the net with Google, but directly in the Amazon search bar. This means that products that cannot be found on Amazon, do no longer exist for many customers. But even retailers who sell successfully their products on the Amazon Marketplace are not immune to the danger to lose their business. Because they are dependent on the market leader and his tactics. As soon as their products sell well, Amazon simply adds this product to its assortment itself and forces competitors out of the market.

Amazon Alexa intensifies this development: as already mentioned, according to surveys, 85 percent of users take the product Alexa suggests to them first. This gives Amazon the perfect gatekeeper function. It is to be expected that Amazon will increasingly propose a product from its own range. Amazon is developing own brands for more and more product categories and displacing independent brand manufacturers. Amazon is also developing its own logistics system, independent of DHL and Co. At the end of the day, the US company will dominate the entire value chain.

The Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) expresses itself as follows: “Smart Voice Assistants decide which product should be ordered by which dealer. In the long term, the selection and marketing processes of smart voice assistants will, therefore, be an important factor for the success and failure of products and dealers,” warns Stephan Tromp, Managing Director of the HDE. This means that Amazon not only decides which product to buy but even which retailer delivers it. Handelsverband Deutschland is sure that some large and many medium-sized and small companies will miss the train of this technology and thus become victims of Amazon. Other companies, however, would use the chance with alternative solutions and could become very successful in a very short time.

This reminds me of a great Reggae song by Clint Eastwood & General Saint called Stop that train:

“Cause if you miss the train I’m on, How did you know that I am gone?

And you can hear the whistle blow five hundred miles

Stop that train, I wanna get on

My baby, she is leaving me now” 😊

In 2019, we, the gigaaa team will do all we can to promote facts and advantages for you to recognize gigaaa assistant as the better alternative to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. We want to position our ecosystem as a European alternative to American Voice Assistants because shared data and privacy has a much bigger relevance for people in Europe than it does in the US. In 2019 we will enter besides the German-speaking markets also Turkey, Egypt, and Russia. You can test these languages already today and get a first impression when gigaaa speaks Turkish, Arabic or Russian.

I want to say thank you to the gigaaa team and all our followers for your great support this year. Together we will make it happen and 2019 will be our kick off! Follow my blog and stay updated on developments throughout 2019. And as you might expect from me, I like to finish my last blog in 2018 with a song. It´s from Abba and it goes like this:

“So I say, Thank you for the music, the songs I’m singing

Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing

Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty

What would life be? Without a song or a dance what are we?

So I say thank you for the music, For giving it to me” 😊

I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

See you next week. Life is beautiful.

“Life is gigaaa!