Walmart, Google Partner Up On Voice-Activated Shopping To Take On Amazon

Posted August 24, 2017

With a common foe in Amazon.com (AMZN), Google and Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) are partnering in online shopping using voice-activated Google Home speakers.

Walmart customers will be able to link their Walmart account with Google. Those buying items from Wal-Mart (or other partners including Costco and Target) will get free shipping, as long as they meet the minimum spending requirements established by each store. Still, Google Express is handy for a lot of people and this new partnership with Walmart should improve that user experience even more. "Focusing on the digital customer experience and refining its already promising tech investments is what will lead Walmart toward success in the future".

"We know this [update] means being compared side-by-side with other retailers", Lore wrote in a not-so-subtle hat tip to Amazon.

The capabilities established by the partnership will expand next year to include what Lore described as "experiences that now don't exist within voice shopping anywhere else".

This is a big deal in and of itself as Google has been trying to make online shopping more convenient with their Google Express service for a while.

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There is still a week left though for things to move on this front, with Wal-Mart shoppers getting to link their account to Google Express starting September.

The partnership, which brings together the world's largest retailer and the world's largest search engine, is the latest effort by Walmart to chip away at Amazon's online dominance. Users can also receive personalised shopping results and make use of Walmart's easy reorder service to enable fast repeat purchases.

There was no mention in Walmart's announcement about the "same-day" delivery options by Google Express. Amazon's presence in the voice-based shopping market is also relatively well established, as consumers have been able to order through the company's personal assistant Alexa for a number of months now.

"Our new voice shopping capability. will give our customers a compelling new way to get what they need at low prices", Lore said. Unlike Amazon, you will be able to purchase your products with its Online retailers and pickup through the official Walmart stores as well.

'Voice shopping is becoming a more important part of everyday shopping behavior, ' said Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart's United States e-commerce business. The idea is that busy shoppers will happily allow artificial intelligence to sort out their shopping carts for them.