Walmart and Google Team Up to Take on Amazon's Voice Ordering

Alain Brian
Août 23, 2017

Google and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are joining forces in a partnership that includes enabling voice-ordered purchases from the retail giant on Google's virtual assistant, challenging rival Amazon.com Inc.'s grip on the next wave of e-commerce.

Starting in September, customers will be able to place orders with Walmart at express.google.com, the Google Express app, or through Google Assistant-enabled devices like Google Home.

Shoppers don't need a Walmart account to access the service, but if they do, they can opt to link it through Google Express, making it easier for their Google Assistant to track old orders. The deal won't alter how consumers receive.

APGiants Google and Walmart are teaming up to take on Amazon's Prime shipping service.

And if voice commerce becomes popular and shoppers actually start searching for products by speaking to a device, Walmart is perhaps the only retailer in the US that comes close to offering the breadth of Amazon's product catalogue.

Wal-Mart has begun pushing back aggressively, however, offering discounts to customers who buy online and pick up in-store, and free two-day shipping for purchases of $35 or more.

"One of the primary-use cases for voice shopping will be the ability to build a basket of previously purchased everyday essentials", he said in an interview.

Lore said more was coming in Walmart's partnership with Google Assistant: in 2018, Walmart plans to use its 4,700 USA stores and network of distribution centers to offer shoppers services like the ability to choose to retrieve an online order at a store or buy fresh groceries across the country, capabilities not yet offered on voice shopping.

But while both Amazon and Google's voice-controlled speakers are gaining in popularity, people still mainly use them for such basic tasks as placing phone calls or playing music. A study past year found that 55 percent of USA adults start their online shopping trips on Amazon.

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