Hello Mary
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Hello Mary

The Importance of Voice Assistance in Cannabis Delivery

The rise of hands-free technology has gotten a boost during Covid. What does this mean for cannabis?

Photo credit: Freestocks, Unsplash

There are many things that people will remember about this period of time. The first is that beyond the shutdown and the distancing, interactions of all kinds began to shift to digital in an unprecedented and increasingly fast way.

This includes the use of both voice assisted technology and artificial intelligence — and the increased use of the same kinds of technology at least, in integrated B2B and B2C digital sales platforms.

When this technology and its applications comes to cannabis, it could be that new tools and ways of using them offered by this technology may well upend the retail if not medical space — and further rather quickly.

That is what the team at HelloMary is planning on — and indeed intending on helping to disrupt.

What is voice assisted technology?

In its simplest definition, VAT is a software and or application that communicates with the user — starting with responding to spoken demands. It is technology that is beginning to be used widely in both smart home and mobility solutions as well as all hands-free interactions, particularly after COVID. Indeed as of last year, half of all online searches were conducted, globally, by voice.

There are many benefits to this kind of technology in a sales and personalized customer journey environment, starting with the fact that one’s voice is as identifiable as any other piece of biometric identity. This is also where privacy issues come into play, particularly with commercialized applications, and even more particularly when it comes to the sale of cannabis.

VAT and AI

Voice assisted technology at its purest can help to individualize a cannabis user’s experience in a way that very other technologies can — especially when combined with artificial intelligence — or AI.

Simply put, if the device knows who you are, it can help guide you. Connected to an AI interface, as HelloMary is, and suddenly, users can access the best of both worlds. This is because “Mary” — the brain behind the tech, can put conversational queries in context — and further build on data from previous queries — both by the single user, other users, and the data the application was trained by.

Other Differences Between Voice and Data Queries

There are other interesting differences between data (or typed) browser queries and voice assisted ones. One interesting difference is that voice queries tend to be longer, they explicitly ask questions that can be characterized by “who, what, why, when and where,” and further there is an expectation that the search engine that is being queried will answer back.

Extrapolating this kind of cultural shift as well as paradigmatic change in the way users interact with mobile tech, including voice assist into sales applications is absolutely the wave of the future.

Voice Assisted Technology and Cannabis

When it comes to introducing customers to cannabis — and of both the medical and recreational kind — as well as seasoned users and newbies — this kind of technology is a unique way for users to find what they need quickly. Not only can customers search for products by symptom or mood, rather than cannabinoid, but the application will be able to begin to guide users based on both the system’s training and ongoing sales data.

This ability will also help our Mary “brain” guide users from vastly different demographics, starting with age and gender, as well as those who are potentially “borderline” medical users who are accessing the drug as a recreational device (in other words self-medicating).

While those in the industry who have been around the definitions of cannabinoids as well as other components of the cannabis plant have a much better grounding in the terminology at least, understanding the individual needs of a consumer is beyond the ken of any marketing guru or customer journey expert. Especially in a space where consumers are rediscovering a much-maligned plant that is finally taking its place in the marketplace if not sun again — as well as the myriad of medicines and products that are birthing with it.

Catch Up With The HelloMary Team in Berlin

The HelloMary team will be out in force at the International Cannabis Business Conference in Berlin at the end of August (25–27). We are pitching at the Global Investment forum and will both appear on a panel during the conference as well as have a booth there. Stop by and say hi.

Investors can also get in touch with the team via our website or Linked In.

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