Hands free help from the Google Assistant

Officeworks & First Digital taking steps to bring retail into people’s homes with the Google Assistant, available on Google Home, 3P speakers, chomebook, Iphones, Android TVs and more.

Officeworks wanted to be at the forefront of the voice search in Australia. At the moment worldwide 55% of teenagers and 41% of adults use multiple voice searches daily with Comscore forecasting that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches.

This presented two options:

  1. Begin a process of optimising the website for general voice search queries
  2. Build an application that allowed users to talk to Officeworks in true conversational style

It was decided that in order to best understand how users wanted to talk to Officeworks only option 2 would allow Officeworks to analyse how users would interact with Officeworks as all conversations are fully logged not just initial search queries. Moreover, it was thought that a first to market Google Assistant application build would allow Officeworks to bypass general voice search queries and own the stationery and office supply space for voice at the outset.

google-assistant first-dev-team-01 first-dev-team-02

The solution

FIRST built the big box retail first to market in Australia application using Dialogue Flow (formerly on the Google Assistant Platform using the medium of Google Home as the interface.

This provides two immediately scalable additional solutions:

  1. Enhanced interaction during the conversation via images and text on Android devices
  2. Expansion to other interfaces such as Alexa, Cortana and Facebook Messenger

The application was built using a mix of existing data feeds (for store locations and stock availability) and bespoke communications writing.


Conversation mapping and scripts produced to accommodate most popular interactions including finding information and pricing for products, closest store location and product availability, returns policy, shipping and specific ink questions.

The Assistant delivers real time in store product availability as well as being able to create shopping lists that can be emailed to the user to be taken instore. In addition nearest store and opening hours questions are answered seamlessly.

The infrastructure is in place to take the Officeworks assistant app to a revenue-driving platform on Google Home. We’re now utilising the Google Machine Learning technology to bring the customer interaction to life.

Stephen D’Olier
First Digital Development Director

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