Walmart, Google Speak With One Voice In Battle With Amazon

Aug 24, 2017, 02:33
Walmart, Google Speak With One Voice In Battle With Amazon

Prior to the venture, the retailer's inventory was only available through the company's website.

On Wednesday, Google announced a partnership with Walmart allowing customers to make purchases from the retail giant via voice command with the Google Home smart speaker.

"That's why it makes sense for us to team up with Google".

While that continues to be speculative, what is nearly certain is that voice shopping is here big time, and artificial intelligence too will have a big role to play in that.

The primary way that Walmart sees Google Express shoppers placing orders is to reorder consumable products that they've previously purchased in-store or from Walmart.com.

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Back in January, Walmart began offering free, two-day shipping on more than two million items - in a bid to challenge Amazon Prime, whose members pay an annual fee for faster and streaming services.

Both Google and Walmart took the opportunity to tack on some other news in today's announcements.

According to AndroidPolice, the company plans to unveil a mini version of the Google Home speaker to compete against Amazon Echo Dot devices. Walmart would fulfill the orders made through Google at no extra charge. It's also about Google defending its search turf against Amazon.

Partnering with Amazon's Alexa was out of the question for Walmart, as they are fierce rivals and Amazon's voice commerce model is more of a closed one, notes Recode.

If you're an existing Walmart customer, you can choose to link your Walmart account to Google and receive personalized shopping results based on your online and in-store Walmart purchases.

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Walmart isn't the first retailer to partner with Google's Express platform, but it is the first to feature voice activated features.

Consumers now can use Google Assistant to order from Costco and Target, but Walmart says it is the first to make account histories accessible. An "easy reorder" system, reminiscent of Amazon's, will make it simpler to top up household goods by calling out to your Google Home.

He added that Wal-Mart has bigger plans for voice shopping next year that will involve capitalizing on its 4,700 USA stores to "create customer experiences that don't now exist within voice shopping anywhere else".

Lore added that the personalisation of the partnership meant people can shout out generic items such as milk, bread and cheese, and Google Assistant will know exactly the brands and the size that the user wants. In Walmart's case, all transactions costing $35 or more is eligible, so that's pretty much a done deal.

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