Voice Commerce: FMCG Shopping – Krish Velkar, Ogilvy – Voice Tech Podcast ep.059

Krish Velkar Ogilvy

Episode description

As voice-assistant technologies become more frequent in many different industries, questions of its influence on those industries themselves become more pertinent. Today’s guest is Krish Velkar from Ogilvy, who joins us to discuss his recent master’s dissertation which explored the influence of voice assistants on the purchasing of FMCG products (fast-moving consumer goods).

In this episode, we discuss the history of voice technology and the ways people are beginning to use it more frequently in India as well as globally. Krish gets into what voice tech promises for accessibility, speaking to his grandparents’ adoption of smartphones due to the intuitiveness of voice tech as a UI. He speaks about the idea of low and high involvement purchases, and where voice purchasing is most effective.

We then get into Krish’s actual research, and he takes us through the hypotheses, methods, discoveries, and insights that can be found in his dissertation. He talks about the surveys he made regarding the buying process and the likelihood of repurchase using the Ariel detergent virtual assistant. He also discusses ways companies can optimize the voice-assisted experience, stressing the value of early brand adoption and more anthropomorphic chatbots.

We could be looking at significant developments in the FMCG retail space over the next few years, so Krish’s research couldn’t come at a better time. Tune in to hear more about it.


  • How Carl and Krish met each other through Voice2 and Krish’s Voice Tech chatbot.
  • Krish’s master’s thesis topic: whether Alexa can impact consumer FMGC purchase decisions.
  • How Krish transferred from marketing to digital marketing with an interest in voice tech.
  • The idea that voice technology is far easier to adopt for technologically un-savvy people.
  • Adoption patterns of voice technology: hesitance, appliance control, popular Alexa questions.
  • UI interfaces from the 1990s: the web click, the touch screen, and recently, voice assistants.
  • The history of voice tech: Alexa vs Siri, IBM’s Shoebox, Carnegie Mellon’s Harpy, etc.
  • Voice search adoption trajectories and statistics listed in optimistic papers and big tech.
  • Nascent stages of voice technology in finance, automotive, and healthcare industries.
  • The high influence voice has on purchase decisions in low involvement purchases.
  • Tendencies to be more expressive while querying via voice vs text.
  • Use cases of Unilever and Ariel’s use of voice technology to influence customer choice.
  • Amazon’s use of Alexa and the product purchasing process becoming less convenient.
  • Voice benefits: less thinking, product recommendation, repeated same-product purchasing.
  • The process of brands becoming the name used for a product class.
  • Hypotheses in Krish’s thesis around voice and consumer purchase likelihood.
  • Distinctions between Krish’s and other methods: Krish’s use of an actual virtual assistant.
  • The importance for brands to get consumers to buy their product on first purchase.
  • Krish’s experiment to test repurchasing likelihood after using the Ariel application.
  • Results of Krish’s survey which proved the likelihood of repurchase after voice assistants.
  • Conclusions of Krish’s research: voice assistants is to the benefit of brands.
  • The importance of big brands reducing friction in the buying process.
  • Krish’s recommendation for brands to make their voice technology less robotic.


  • 5:00 – Intro
  • 9:30 – Why this space is important
  • 10:30 – Buzz in India about voice
  • 13:10 – Voice Tech History
  • 16:55 – Why am I optimistic about this technology?
  • 20:05 – Advert
  • 23:50 – How the Finance, Automotive and Health care industry are using voice
  • 25:30 – Why voice is important for the FMCG Industry
  • 28:00 – Use case in the FMCG Industry
  • 29:50 – How FMCG companies are using voice
  • 31:15 – Ariel skill
  • 31:45 – Why being in the evoked set of the consumer is important in the voice space
  • 32:45 – Voice Shopping
  • 36:36 – The three ways in which a voice assistant can influence a purchase decision
  • 38:35 – Even more Important for brand names becoming category names in the Voice first space
  • 40:35 – The research
  • 49:49 – Valuable Insights of the study
  • 51:35 – Rapid fire questions

Quotes from the show

[09:33] In a few years people will have a dependent relationship with some sort of assistant

[10:04] In India someone says, ‘I love you,’ to Alexa once a minute.

[34:18] It takes a long time to reach the stage where a consumer associates a brand to a product category

Links from the show

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