Alexa can now alert you to local supermarket sales

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Ever wonder how late your local supermarket stays open on Saturdays? What about the coffee shop down the street, or the Italian joint around the corner? If you have a Google Home or Amazon Echo within shouting distance, finding out is now as easy as invoking Retale Go, a voice-activated assistant that puts localized shipping information at your fingertips.

Starting this week, Retale Go launches on voice assistants from Google and Amazon. You can ask it for information about the more than 320,000 locations that make up its extended network, including store hours, addresses, and phone numbers. It will even tell you if the place you asked about has a sale going.

Activating the Retale assistant on your Google Home or Alexa is fairly easy. If you’re using an Alexa-enabled device like one of Amazon’s Echo speakers, you can add it from the Skills Store in the Alexa app. On Google Home, just say, “OK Google, begin using Retale Go.”

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“At Retale, we are constantly looking for ways in which we can integrate our services with forward-thinking technology to deliver better shopping experiences to consumers,” Dan Cripe, Chief Technology Officer of Retale, said in a statement. “Web and apps are a fantastic foundation, but voice assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are the biggest disruptive wave since the smartphone – greatly expanding access to information.”

Retale Go collates up-to-date information from more than 5,200 of the world’s top retailers and 1.4 million stores globally, including JC Penney, Target, Rite Aid, Macy’s, Meijer, and more. That treasure trove of data — and the app’s local coupon alerts — apparently struck a chord with smartphone users, who’ve downloaded it in droves. As of June, more than 26 million people use Retale.

Retale’s core mission is to connect shoppers to its retail partners, and voice-activated apps are only the newest tip in its multi-prong strategy. In February, Retale acquired Out of Milk, one of the most popular shopping list app in the U.S. CEO Christian Gaiser noted that it had “tremendous scale in mobile shopping,” and that its targeted, location-based features would “[help Retale] meet the needs of shoppers at a different stage of the purchase funnel and nearly double [its] user base in the U.S.”

“Voice interfaces, aside from being really cool, enable natural interactions that simply don’t happen via other channels,” Cripe said. “By fitting into the natural flow of a person’s life, voice technology provides a convenient, hands-free and instant conversation between consumers and brands.”

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