H&M Home Adds Mobile Payments, Voice-Enabled Shopping to Google Assistant

December 20, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

There’s not a lot of time left until Christmas, but in case you haven’t finished your shopping—or you want to get a jump on next year’s—there’s good news afoot for you. H&M Home has hooked up with Google to develop a new holiday gift guide that incorporates elements of Google Assistant and mobile payments to produce a new kind of shopping experience.

This time, H&M customers can get hold of the catalog and simply tell Google Assistant just what it is they want to order. Naturally, there are some prerequisites: customers will need an Android device to start with, one that can run Google Assistant. Plus, they’ll need a credit card that’s been linked to a Google account. With these points in play, the system can fire up in earnest and people can tell Google Assistant just what it is they want, and have it bought and paid for.

This isn’t the first time that H&M and Google have worked together in such a fashion; the duo previously came together to create the H&M HOME Stylist system, which was one of the first voice applications for the home market. A further connection with Stripe allowed for voice-controlled purchases. Since Google has recently expanded its mobile payments capabilities, that part of the alliance may no longer have been necessary, or at least not desirable.

Hopefully an idea like this comes with some solid safeguards against illicit ordering, or the next thing someone knows there’s a $3,000 bill in the mail for half a dozen chairs that some four year old thought looked awesome. With such controls in place, there’s a lot of reason to like this, because it becomes both supremely convenient and builds in that gee-whiz factor that customers want to enjoy. Admittedly, it’s not exactly a big improvement, but it does add something to the process.

It will be interesting to see how much H&M derives from this new plan: big new sales, or a whole lot of consumer yawning mistaken for orders.  Either way, it’s an interesting step forward that might prove imitated on a lot of other fronts.