Voice Activated In-Store Shopper Tool Launched by The Mars Agency in Southfield


Southfield-based The Mars Agency, a full-service global marketing agency, today announced it has launched the first virtual voice-powered shopping assistant, called “Bottle Genius Powered by Smart Aisle” using Alexa.

The Bottle Genius, a voice-powered service for the brick and mortar retail environment, is currently available at Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit in New York Cities Flatiron neighborhood, located at 5 W. 19TH Street.

Using Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) capabilities, the Bottle Genius skill for Alexa provides a personalized, voice-powered customer assistant that helps shoppers in Bottlerocket’s whiskey aisle. Customers can receive three curated whiskey recommendations after answering basic directional questions such as current favorite, purchase occasion, or desire to try something new. The service also provides tasting information as well as the opportunity to learn more about the brands.

Built by LED Specialists and Arrow Electronics, a custom-built shelf lights up to identify the top recommendations.

Experts predict the continued evolution of voice-powered technology as a way to personalize products and services to meet consumer expectations as 70 million smart speaker devices are expected to be in US household by 2022.

“We believe voice technologies like the Bottle Genius skill powered by Smart Aisle will trump mobile as the preferred mode or interface for shoppers within the next five years,” says Ethan Goodman, senior vice president of technology and innovation at The Mars Agency. “By integrating our technology with the pioneering design of Bottlerocket’s customer-centric store, we’re bringing first-of-its-kind, voice powered shopping assistance right into the actual store.”

The new technology will be available throughout the month of February during Bottlerocket’s annual month-long free tasting event, Mondo Whiskey.

“As long as people are buying things we will continue to identify relevant ways to help the overall consumer experience and grow our client’s business,” says Rob Rivenburgh, CEO of The Mars Agency North America. “Industry advances like Smart Aisle will continue to transform the way people shop for products and services with their favorite retailers.”

The Mars Agency specializes in shopper marketing, ecommerce, consumer promotion, and shopper media. It operates independently in 11 offices in North America and Europe. Its client base includes Samsung, Bacardi, Campbell’s, Pepperidge Farm, Lowe’s, Hallmark, Henkel, and Pfizer. Bottlerocket was founded in 2006.