Reading Time: 3 minutes
“Ok Waze, order a cream donut and large black coffee to go on my route”
If the test with Dunkin’ Donuts proves out, the next phase of the plan involves other merchants to which Waze can offer access to its millions of users. The order-ahead possibilities through Waze aren’t limited to food — users might be able to look to a future where they can reserve parking spaces, fill prescriptions and even buy groceries without having to open another app on their phones.
“It could be almost anything that a driver could order-ahead and have ready for pick up” —Jordan Grossman, head of Waze’s business partnerships in North America
Voice Commerce With Waze…And Google Too
The current incarnation of Waze order-ahead is meant to be used before you begin to drive for obvious safety reasons. However the system becomes orders of magnitude more valuable with a Voice First interface. It my thesis that order-ahead will become successful and some form of Google assistant will be able to mediate the order and payment on behalf of the driver. Waze can serve as at vibrant test-bed for Google’s Voice First ideas. There is perfect alignment for quick-service food and beverage establishments with Waze order-ahead controlled by a Voice First system. A perfect use case.
“Ok Waze, ordered a cream donut and large black coffee to go on my route, pay with my Google Wallet.”
We can see that in a simple statement Waze could transmit and order and process the payment and allow the customer to go though a fast-lane drive-through or in-store pick-up station. Order ready and payments tendered. It is a natural process to have this Voice Commerce feature as an element of any mapping system and it seems to be a destiny to be a part of Google Maps in the future.
The need is for this type of Voice First service is 100% certain. The details of how it will work is the only part that must be very well thought through. Google and Apple are in a dominate position to capture this from of Car Commerce/Voice Commerce. The impact to a number of companies will be deep over time. In particular some delivery companies and most order-ahead services. However the largest impact may be payment companies as Google and other in-house payment systems integrated with Waze/Google and Apple will side step existing payment company relationships.
The rise of Voice Commerce will extend far beyond the automobile, however it is the perfect way to form behavior and verify utility. The safety aspect alone should cement the idea. The utility will motivate users to expand behaviors to just about any non automobile environment.
I have been researching all aspects of Voice First and Voice Commerce for a few decades. In every study I performed with Car Commerce the user not only loved the experience, many did not want to give up the ability after the test was completed. Thus empirically I am certain, if all other aspects of the Waze order-ahead program is well done, this feature will be one of the most useful the user and perhaps the most powerful one for Waze and ultimately Google and Google Assistant.