In November last year Virgin Trains began utilising Alexa voice control, giving customers the ability to enquire about rail information via Alexa. The next step in that collaboration enables customers to book ‘advance single’ tickets through any Alexa-enabled Amazon device with payment completed through Amazon Pay.
“We’re thrilled to work with Virgin Trains to offer customers a completely new way to buy train tickets,” said Giulio Montemagno, director of Amazon Pay EU. “With Alexa and Amazon Pay, Virgin Trains customers can now search, select and buy train tickets entirely through voice. This is a first-of-a-kind service that will make it easier than ever to find and book the ticket you want, even when you’re busy doing something else – all you need to do is ask Alexa.”
“By allowing customers to directly book tickets using just their voice, it points to one of the biggest trends currently in e-commerce”
Hugh Fletcher, global head of consultancy and innovation at Salmon, commented: “Virgin Trains has become the latest in a long line of companies closely working with Amazon to sell its products through the company’s voice-controlled Alexa device. By allowing customers to directly book tickets using just their voice, it points to one of the biggest trends currently in e-commerce; brands using Zero UI voice-controlled services to create a seamless customer experience.”
“While Heathrow Airport and Jamie Oliver utilise Alexa for checking departure times and browsing recipes respectively, Virgin Trains has now taken this one step further by allowing customers to directly purchase a product without a screen. And brands and retailers should take note. The more popular Amazon’s Echo and other voice-activated devices become, the more consumers will actually want to make purchases using these devices. This, coupled with the fact that consumers are increasingly craving convenience over the brand they purchase, points to a growing necessity for a bigger choice of purchasing options.”