Walmart Enables Voice Shopping With Google Partnership

The Google Home smart home device

In addition to this partnership, Walmart is also joining Google Express delivery service like its rivals Target and Costco. While other retailers, including Target, Kohl's and Ulta, sell on Google Express, no other company now offers the depth of products Walmart will be offering.

Google and Walmart are teaming up to take on Amazon (and Alexa) with voice-activated commerce and more plans for 2018.

"When it comes to voice shopping, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers", Lore wrote in the post.

Walmart is trying "to simplify people's lives and help them shop in ways they've not yet imagined", Marc Lore, who heads Walmart's e-commerce efforts, said in a statement Wednesday.

In return, Google would lend its artificial intelligence and data expertise to simplify the shopping process.

These additional services would allow customers to use voice-activated shopping for pick-up orders in stores, at a discount, and to purchase fresh groceries. Google is getting rid of the $95 annual membership fee for Express, instead offering free delivery as long as you meet a store's minimum requirement.

Walmart also announced this week that it would partner with Uber in expanding its grocery-delivery services.

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But Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo dominates in voice-activated speakers and is set to control 70 percent of the market by the end of this year, according to eMarketer.

'Ok Google, what noise does a panda make?'

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have formed an agreement to enter the voice-shopping market, which is now dominated by online retail rival Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). They have now added one of the country's biggest retail stores, Walmart, as a partner store.

Consumers now can use Google Assistant to order from Costco and Target, but Walmart says it is the first to make account histories accessible.

Next month, Walmart regulars will be able to link their shopping accounts to Google Express and order items in just a few words. Easy Reorder, introduced earlier this year, registers in-store and online purchases and saves them to a shopper's purchase history. It's also about Google defending its search turf against 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".

"As we see these virtual ecosystems grow and become more widespread, we are likely to see a battle commence between the digital assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod, as retailers and brands affiliate themselves with one or the other".

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