August 24, 2017
Yesterday, Walmart and Google announced a partnership that will enable consumers to shop for Walmart products using their voice via Google Assistant or using a mobile device or laptop via Google Express. The deal will make Walmart the biggest retailer on the Google shopping platform and underscores how Google and Walmart hope to compete with Amazon. Walmart said it will make “hundreds of thousands of items” available for voice shopping and, by linking their Walmart account to Google Express, consumers will receive personalized recommendations based on their own shopping habits.
“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,” said Mark Lore, president of U.S. e-commerce for Walmart. “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.”
Voice ordering Walmart products through Google Assistant will be available in late September, the companies said. And, next year, Lore said functionality will expand to leverage Walmart’s 4,500 physical stores in the U.S. by enabling omnichannel features like store pickup for voice orders or using voice to order groceries.