Now you can shop from Ocado with your voice on Amazon Echo, using the first UK supermarket Alexa Skill

Lynsey Barber
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Ocado has plumped to use rival Amazon's device, the Echo (Source: Amazon)

"Alexa, what's in my Ocado shopping basket?"

Now you can order your weekly food shop from the British supermarket - just by asking.

The delivery favourite has become the first in the UK to launch a skill for Amazon's Echo smart home speaker, taking on the built-in Amazon shopping services the device already comes with.

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“Grocery shopping should be quick, easy and convenient. Using voice technology, we’ve made it even easier by developing our new app that will enable our customers to add to their Ocado baskets without lifting a finger," said marketing and commercial director at the supermarket Lawrence Hene.

“Consumer demand for increasingly convenient ways to shop is growing rapidly and we’re excited to be the first supermarket in the UK to offer this technology, making customers’ lives ever easier. Alexa will add any item to your Ocado basket simply by asking her to do so. It’s as easy as that.”

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It follows US retail giant Walmart choosing the Google Home device for its own voice shopping efforts just last week, over its retail rival Amazon which has just finalised a multibillion-dollar deal to buy Whole Foods in its bid for world domination.

With the Ocado Alexa skill, users can add items to their basket or an existing order they have on the go, ask for recipe inspiration and track the order.

Fellow UK supermarket Tesco went with Google Home over Amazon for its own voice shopping service, which launched earlier this year.

It comes as new research reveals people may actually be pretty sceptical about the much-hyped technology. Less than a third of British consumers said they would want to own one of the increasing number of voice devices. Concerns about them, according to a survey by media agency the7stars, include sharing data with companies such as Amazon and Google and the technology overhearing private conversations.

Half think it's not of use and around two in five said it was a gimmick, while a further 40 per cent agreed they could not see the benefit.

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"Voice assistants present a fresh opportunity for brands to connect with consumers, and there’s exciting potential for this technology as a platform for advertisers," said insight director Frances Revel.

"However, the research shows that mainstream scepticism remains over their value and how they are using consumer data, so there is work to be done to break down these barriers for this exciting new technology.”

Sonos is the latest tech firm to enter the smart home assistant fray, adding voice to its luxury speakers according to new company filings. Apple is also set to launch the Homepod, while Facebook is reportedly working on its own version.

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