There's a new kid moving onto Alexa's block: Walmart and Google have chose to pair up to offer a slew of items through voice shopping by way of Google Assistant. It sees hundreds of thousands of Walmart products available to purchase using your voice and a Google Home gadget or Google Assistant. On top of that, starting today, shoppers through Google Express (on the app or web) will receive free delivery on orders, so long as the order is above the store's minimum purchase required. However, Elliott stated that voice-activated shopping at Walmart will be more attractive than it is at other Google Express retailers where personalization requires some time.
Walmart has been trying to compete with the likes of Amazon in the online shopping market for a few years now. Walmart's also ramped up its in-store pick-up service by offering discounts to customers who use it. Starting next year, Walmart will leverage its robust retail store network to enable experiences "that don't now exist within voice shopping anywhere else", including the ability to buy fresh groceries across the country.
For its part, Google said it is "thrilled to partner with one of the most popular stores in America to help make your shopping faster and easier". Amazon's Echo devices now account for 70.6% of the voice-controlled device market, while Google Home captures 23.8%, according to 2017 data from the research firm eMarketer. That prompted Walmart to integrate its "Easy Reorder" feature into Google Express.
The Google partnership follows a number of technology investments Walmart has made recently: On Tuesday, the company announced a major blockchain collaboration with IBM and a number of other leading food suppliers to better track contaminated food and prevent it from reaching consumers. This will enable personalized shopping results and let you order more easily by voice; if you order "Gatorade", Google notes, your Google Assistant will know which size and type you previously ordered and get the right one. You can tell the Assistant to order products for you using just your voice.
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Google is aiming to cover more of the industry by providing hassle free services to different giants.
Lore emphasized that customers will come out as winners because its partnership with Google will offer an "open and transparent shopping universe".
"When it comes to voice shopping, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers", Wal-Mart Chief Executive Marc Lore said in a statement.