Argos has launched an innovative 'voice shopping' service.

Argos

Argos

The catalogue retailer will allow customers to reserve products in a local store using their Google Home smart speaker, and it is the first step in a wider plan.

Argos chief executive John Rogers told the BBC: "This launch is step one and I don't expect to turn on the app and suddenly double our sales.

"But I expect people will use it and experiment with it - and if we can make it a seamless process, you can see why people would want to use it."

The company is the first UK retailer to offer a shopping service via Google Assistant, despite Argos facing competition from online retailer Amazon and its own voice-controlled Echo speakers.

Although the firm has sold millions of the product, analysts have suggested not many people use them to buy products.

After enabdling Argos' service, users will have the option of asking the Google Home speaker to check availability of products, and to reserve items for them.

It will also work through Google Assistant on smartphones, but peple will still have to browse the website or catalogue to spot the product they want to buy.

Mr Rogers added: "We still distribute millions of catalogues to people's homes. We all know that the catalogue on the coffee table, as a means of browsing, is really good - and it's hard to replicate with today's technology."