Hermes, the consumer delivery specialist, has become the first parcel company in the UK to fully integrate its end-to-end tracking solution with Amazon’s line of Echo smart speakers. Consumers will be able use voice commands via Alexa-enabled devices, such as an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, to hear updates on where their parcel is.
This unique functionality is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to providing retailers with an increasingly innovative portfolio of services and solutions, as well as further enhancing the overall delivery experience provided to the UK’s growing number of online shoppers.
Owners of the Amazon devices, powered by the company's digital assistant Alexa, will be able to track their parcels by enabling the specific skill on the Alexa app. Consumers will receive updates on those deliveries being carried out by Hermes, on behalf of the UK’s best-known retailers and brands, as well as those sent via myHermes. This new functionality will also allow online shoppers to track any items they have returned to a retailer.
The integration was engineered within the company's dedicated Innovation Lab in the centre of Leeds, which is specifically tasked with developing a range of forward-thinking products that will change the delivery landscape.
David Turner, Head of Digital Strategy & Technology Innovation, said: “An important part of our remit is to explore new and exciting technologies that will allow us to enrich the delivery experience. Digital assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Alexa have been developed to drive increased convenience, and our research tells us that there will be a future shift away from screen interactions in favour of conversational interface technology.
"We are thrilled with our initial release, but we are already experimenting with new interactions and functionality that we will be releasing throughout this year.”
In addition to this pioneering tracking feature, the Innovation Lab continues to work on developing additional features as part of the integration. This will include the ability to ask Alexa where the nearest myHermes ParcelShop is located, set your delivery preferences such as safe place location and preferred neighbours and schedule a courier collection.
Carole Woodhead, CEO of Hermes, added: “It remains absolutely vital that we continue to push the innovative boundaries to create additional value for our clients and the ever-demanding Millennial Generation. We are excited to see what further innovations 2017 will bring.”