We saw an opportunity to make Cheerios the one and only choice of cereal on a platform that skews towards habitual purchasing. By designing a Prime Day offer, giving away a free box of cereal to everyone who spent $40, we flooded Amazon’s recommendation algorithm with Cheerios, and established a shopping history for millions of Amazon customers.
What if you could guarantee that your product would top the shopping lists for Amazon Prime members? By 2020, research shows voice shopping will grow from $2 billion to $40 billion USD. This is driven by Amazon’s Echo (aka Alexa), which leads its competitors in becoming Americans’ digital roommate, the one you turn to for great shopping advice. With no visual shelf for consumers to scan, people default to Alexa’s top recommended option. In fact, 85% of shoppers will choose whatever Alexa recommends. We call this ‘incidental loyalty’—when consumers remove themselves from the decision-making process and put digital assistants in charge. To ensure her recommendations are useful, Alexa tends to tell shoppers about products they’ve bought before. With ecommerce poised to grow dramatically, we saw an opportunity for Honey Nut Cheerios to become the recommended choice for new and existing customers and to win the future of voice commerce.
Our idea? Leverage America’s biggest retail event, Amazon’s Prime Day, in order to establish a Cheerios shopping history so that the next time someone says, “Hey Alexa, add cereal to my shopping cart,” Honey Nut Cheerios is the first recommendation. It was simple—we designed a promotion, giving away a free family-size box of Honey Nut Cheerios to everyone who spent over $40 USD on Amazon. Millions of Amazon customers would take the offer, resulting in the search results for Honey Nut Cheerios peaking, effectively hacking Amazon’s recommendation algorithm.