10:24 AM, Aug 23, 2017 — Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Alphabet’s (GOOG, GOOGL) Google are set to offer hundreds of thousands of products for sale via the Google Assistant as the retail and tech giants team up to take on rival Amazon.com (AMZN) with voice shopping.
Customers can link their Walmart accounts to Google Express, the shopping service, and be able to use Walmart’s reordering feature that remembers previous purchases, according to blogs from the firms.
Separately, one to three day delivery is now being offered for free with Google Assistant on Express as long as the order is above a store’s minimum, with no membership fees required.
While both companies touted the tie-up as a way to make shopping more convenient, tech blogs like Recode said they were taking a run at e-commerce giant Amazon, which offers voice shopping through its own Alexa personal assistant. Amazon’s dominance in online retailing has proven to be a steep challenge for brick-and-mortar operations, and companies like Walmart have been investing in their own online presence to compete.
Walmart’s products will be available on Google Express at the end of September. Next year, the company will use its US stores and fulfillment network to allow more choices including in-store pick up and voice shopping for fresh groceries.
Google has “made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience,” Walmart e-commerce head Marc Lore said on the blog. “We know this means being compared side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be.”
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