US consumers can very soon buy products from Walmart on their phones and Google Home devices using voice-activated Google Assistant.
Google has partnered with Walmart to allow users to offer voice-based shopping with the aim of taking on Amazon, which currently dominates the voice-based shopping market in the US, according a BBC report.
Amazon’s AI-based assistant Alexa already lets users shop directly from it.
Starting in late September, Walmart will be working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items for voice shopping via Google Assistant, the retail giant said in a blogpost.
Walmart will be integrating its Easy Reorder feature into Google Express, which will enable it to deliver highly personalized shopping recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases, including those made in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com.
As per the company, customers only need to link their Walmart account to Google Express to take advantage of this personalization.
Google Express is Google’s way of helping high street retailers offer their products online. And through this partnership, Walmart will be offering the most items of any retailer on the Google Express platform.
The retailer plans to expand voice-activated shopping across its 4,700 stores to "create customer experiences that don't currently exist within voice shopping anywhere else".
“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,” Marc Lore, President and CEO, Walmart US eCommerce wrote in the post.
According to the BBC report, Amazon has been challenging brick-and-mortar retailers by offering items at cheaper prices, often with free delivery.
Experts tell BBC that the move is not just about revenue or technology, but more about making customers' lives easier.
Walmart has been taking steps for a while now to hold turf as Amazon expands aggressively. It recently tied up with Uber to offer online grocery delivery in six states in the US.
BBC reports that Walmart has also challenged Amazon by offering discounts to customers who buy online and pick up in-store, and free two-day shipping for purchases of $35 or more.