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25 August 2017, 01:24 | Harold Aguilar
Walmart is tying up with Google to make its products available on Google's eCommerce platform
Google first introduced voice shopping to Google Home earlier this year with partner retailers likeCostco, Walgreens, and PetSmart, according to Recode, in what looked like to many a clear effort to combat Amazon's longstanding stronghold of voice ordering technology.
"This will enable us to deliver highly personalized shopping recommendations based on customers' previous purchases", Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart's USA e-commerce, added. 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. Walmart holds the biggest share of the United States grocery market of any retailer, with a network of almost 4,700 stores that the company says are located within 10 miles of about 90 per cent of the USA population.
Now customers just have to place orders that amount to more than each store's minimum to get free delivery within one to three days. Leveraging its 4,700 US stores and giant fulfillment network, Walmart will allow customers to pick up orders of all groceries, including fresh produce, in store and often at a discount through Google home. Amazon'sAlexa voice assistant is arguably not as capable when it comes to internet queries as the Google Assistant or Siri, but is king (or is it queen?) of shopping by voice.
Google Home users can use their voice to either order one item at a time from Walmart or add multiples items to an online shopping cart and then complete the purchase via the Google Home app.
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. There was no mention in the announcement about whether the tie-up with Google would be extended outside the US. On Wednesday, Whole Foods shareholders voted to support the $13.7 billion takeover by Amazon.
While this type of voice-activated shopping is still in its relative infancy, it's growing fast, and experts expect it to play a big role in the future of online retail. In this regard, the company continues to make huge investments in e-Commerce initiatives, including acquisitions.
Walmart admits it knows its new program will be compared to "other retailers".
Wal-Mart Stores, the 800-pound gorilla of retail, is running hard to catch up in an increasingly crucial segment where it is neither the biggest nor the best: e-commerce. "An open and transparent shopping universe is good for customers", said Lore.
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