Walmart partners with Google on voice-activated shopping – Business

Walmart and Google are teaming up against a common enemy: Amazon’s dominance in voice-activated shopping.

The world’s largest retailer said Wednesday it’s working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items that consumers can order by talking to their Google Assistant via a smart speaker or other Android-powered mobile device such as a smartphone.

Under the plan, Walmart will make available thousands of its products with Google Express, the search giant’s e-commerce platform. 

As of next month, any U.S. residents with a Google Home smart speaker or who are a Google Express customer via the website or app will be able to order a wide selection of Walmart products and have them shipped quickly and free of charge to either their home, or in some cases a nearby Walmart.

The system will be smart enough to buy specific brands of items consumers have purchased before without too much added effort. “If you order Tide … or Gatorade,” Google said of the service, “your Google Assistant will let you know which size and type you previously ordered from Walmart, making it easy for you to buy the right product again.”

“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,” said Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart’s e-commerce unit.

The collaboration won’t be available in Canada at first, but that may change if it’s deemed a success in the U.S. and if Google Home speakers get any traction in the Canadian marketplace.

Fight for consumer loyalty

The Google Express market already works with other retailers, but the link-up with Walmart is a major step as Google tries to fight back against Amazon’s dominance in leveraging its online dominance into controlling how and what we buy in the real world.

Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo device has a similar feature where consumers can order millions of products simply by…

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