Walmart, Google tie up for voice-controlled shopping

Google and Walmart Partner With Eye on Amazon
You'll soon be able to buy Walmart products on your Google Home
Author

25 August, 2017

Walmart has turned into the biggest retailer to offer items to purchasers who shop on Google Express, after comparative offerings like Costco and Target.

"I believe our job at Walmart isn't only about saving our customers money, but also about making shopping faster and easier", writes Marc Lore, president and CEO, Walmart US eCommerce, in a blog post announcing the partnership.

The Walmart-Google Express combination is sure to ramp up the rivalry with Amazon.

For Walmart, it opens up a new front in its battle with Amazon - whose online sales growth threatens traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers. It offers free delivery for the orders which are above $35.

Through the collaboration, Walmart, the world's largest retailer, and Google, the world's most popular search engine, will challenge Amazon's growing dominance in online commerce. (WMT) and Google are joining hands to allow shoppers to order products by voice, taking on the mutual threat the two companies face from Amazon.com Inc. and its voice-enabled network Alexa.

He further said: "One of the primary uses cases for voice shopping will be the ability to build a basket of previously-purchased everyday essential".

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The service will be available to Wal-Mart customers from September and all they will need to do is to link their existing Wal-Mart accounts to Google Express to enjoy the new offering. Customers will now be able to order items online through Google Home using their voice by linking their Walmart accounts to Google Marketplace. This is why it is logical for us to team up with Google. It takes a position for several years in the trade online via Google Express, incorporating features to Google Home, but its efforts are still in their infancy in front of the dominant position of Amazon.

For Walmart, introducing a voice-ordered feature may pique some customers' interest - but it won't close the deep e-commerce gap that yawns between it and Amazon. On Wednesday, Whole Foods shareholders voted to support the $13.7 billion takeover by Amazon.

Voice shopping market is still in its initial stages and Amazon its sole leader. Unlike Amazon Prime, you don't even need to pay a membership fee.

Google Express was launched in 2013 to make Google the top go-to destination for those browsing and buying online.

And as The New York Times notes: "Google is a laggard in e-commerce".

"We know this means being compared side by side with other retailers, and we think that's the way it should be", he said. If the deal materializes, it will become the fifth e-Commerce acquisition, since the buyout of Jet.com.


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