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Reshaping Retail Operations: The Role of AI in 2020 and Beyond
Reshaping Retail Operations: The Role of AI in 2020 and Beyond
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“Ask Purina” Alexa Skill for Dog Lovers

INTRODUCTION

Purina seeks to educate aspiring dog owners

The National Dog Show is an all-breed benched conformation show sanctioned by the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. Every year, millions of American dog lovers tune in around Thanksgiving to watch the show that Purina sponsors. In the UK, Purina similarly sponsors the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Purina saw an opportunity to educate potential new owners on all the dog breeds they might see and engender trust in their brand as a reliable source of information. 

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The Challenge

Potential dog owners looking for the right match

While many people are aware of the more common dog breeds, very few know their typical attributes and what breeds match their family’s lifestyle or living situation. Besides how they look, choosing the right dog breed begins with information on their size, energy level, need for exercise, and allergies. All of this information is important in making sure potential owners select a new dog who will be a great fit, ultimately finding their forever home. 

Knowing that some people who watch the National Dog Show or Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show may be encouraged to adopt a dog, Purina leveraged the opportunity to create a new way for people to get information about the dogs they see on their TVs. The team then engaged with Mobiquity to help aspiring dog owners get the information they needed to find the right puppy for their family. 

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The Solution

Alexa skill answers questions for new puppy parents

Mobiquity created the “Ask Purina” Alexa skill to provide a wealth of information on dog breeds. Unlike a mobile app or website, a voice skill would allow potential dog owners to get the information they needed quickly, especially at an opportune time such as the National Dog Show or Westminster Kennel Club Dog show. This, with the added trend that indicates people are placing their smart speakers in the living room, near their TV (more than other areas in their home), inspired Purina to launch the skill. 

With “Ask Purina,” aspiring dog owners can get quick access to a specific dog breed’s attributes and search for one they like. Users can narrow choices by filtering breeds by size, energy level, shedding or non shedding, hypoallergenic, and living situation. After specifying any of these attributes, families can browse the matching breeds and their features.

The Mobiquity team also worked with the Alexa Platform team to help Alexa conquer challenges like learning how to recognize and pronounce unusual dog breed names, such as Xoloitzcuintli. The skill was enhanced to recognize how a user might say the name so that they can get the information they desire. 

The marketing campaign really started to gain traction with the addition of a flyer in the Kennel Club Puppy Packs sent to all newly registered puppy owners to drive awareness of the skill. This was supported with advertising on the Amazon UK platform.  Purina also drove engagement via social media and through email campaigns.

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Results

Demand for information from Purina surges

Mobiquity helped Nestle Purina become an early player in bringing a voice-first application to market. Selection of the perfect dog is easier if you can see what the dog breed looks like during a voice interaction, so Mobiquity also helped Purina develop a second version of “Ask Purina” that launched on the first Amazon Echo Show. This result was a first-mover, voice-plus experience using multi-modal design for voice interaction, blending speech responses with helpful images. Nestlé Purina was named a “Launch Partner” for Mobiquity’s work on “Ask Purina” skill supporting the Amazon Echo Show, due to the complexity and effort required to launch a multi-modal skill.

In the UK, the skill was launched with the addition of helpful tips about raising a puppy to educate new owners and provide advice on a wide range of topics. 

As a result of the launch of “Ask Purina” and enhancing the feature-set and the deployment to multiple regions, there was an increase of over 100,000+ unique customers and more than 6,500+ user enablements in 2019 

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