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Walmart Teams Up With Google to Take On Amazon

Google and Walmart have entered into a partnership to make hundreds of thousands of Walmart products available to purchase through the Google Home voice-controlled speaker, the tech giant’s answer to the Amazon Echo.

Under a new partnership with Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Walmart will allow shoppers to make purchases through the voice-activated device Google Home, the Google Express app or its Website.

A Google assistant, which is tantamount to an online personal shopper, will be assigned to each customer to fulfill the order and set it up to be delivered to their homes.

The effort is Walmart's latest attempt to beat down Amazon, which already allows people to shop via its Alexa digital assistant.

"I think this gives us a look into the future of shopping, yes," Walmart president and CEO of U.S. eCommerce Marc Lore told TheStreet in an interview.

"I think with the advancements in artificial intelligence voice ordering will get better over time."

The initiative launches at the end of September and will be offered with a free one- to three-day shipping service, depending on the size of the order.

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.

For example, if a shopper orders Gatorade the Google assistant will let them know which size and type were previously ordered from Walmart.

Target Corp. and Costco Wholesale Corp. already have similar shopping services offered through Google, according to the tech behemoth.

But, Walmart claims it will offer the largest number of items (hundreds of thousands, Walmart says) by a retailer on the platform. It is also quick to point out that its ability to offer personalized shopping lists is a key difference.

Read: Walmart’s Headaches from Competing With Amazon

Walmart, Google Partner to Make Shopping Even Easier - Here’s How
By Marc Lore, President & CEO, Walmart U.S. eCommerce

Marc Lore, President and CEO, Walmart U.S. eCommerce

Most of us - myself included - lead busy lives.

Running around, going to work, picking kids up from school, making dinner and, between all of that, there’s shopping to do. Because of this, I believe our job at Walmart isn't only about saving our customers money, but also about making shopping faster and easier.

Today, we’re announcing an exciting partnership with Google to do just that. Starting in late September, we’ll be working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items for voice shopping via Google Assistant – the largest number of items currently offered by a retailer through the platform.

One of the primary use cases for voice shopping will be the ability to build a basket of previously purchased everyday essentials. That’s why we decided to deeply integrate our Easy Reorder feature into Google Express. This will enable us to deliver highly personalized shopping recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases, including those made in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com. To take advantage of this personalization, customers only need to link their Walmart account to Google Express.

And, this is just the beginning. Next year, we will also leverage our 4,700 U.S. stores and our fulfillment network to create customer experiences that don’t currently exist within voice shopping anywhere else, including choosing to pick up an order in store (often for a discount) or using voice shopping to purchase fresh groceries across the country.

“Our new voice shopping capability, coupled with our core value proposition, including free two-day shipping and the Pickup Discount, will give our customers a compelling new way to get what they need at low prices”

When it comes to voice shopping, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers. That’s why it makes sense for us to team up with Google. They’ve made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience. We know this means being compared side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be. An open and transparent shopping universe is good for customers.

Our new voice shopping capability, coupled with our core value proposition, including free two-day shipping and the Pickup Discount, will give our customers a compelling new way to get what they need at low prices. We will continue to focus on creating new opportunities to simplify people’s lives and help them shop in ways they’ve not yet imagined.

 

Related Article: The Supply Chain Link Both Walmart & Amazon Are Missing - The ‘Perfect Order’

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