While one might say that Google Home and Amazon Alexa go head to head in terms of voice controlled features, Amazon’s smart speaker has the clear advantage when it comes to a shopping experience on the Alexa smart assistant. Google wants to change that and one of the latest steps in that direction is the inclusion of Walmart on Google Express, Google’s shopping platform.
Google Express, originally launched in 2013 as a hyperlocal delivery service, has grown to include some of the most popular brands in the US like Target and Costco. Now, with Walmart joining the platform sometime in September, this should be a huge boost for Google Assistant powered shopping on the Google Home. You can buy “everything from laundry detergent to Legos” from Walmart when it is on Google Express, using either the Assistant on Google Home or the Google Express website or App.
What’s more, an existing Walmart customer can link their Walmart account to their Google Express account to bring their purchase history onto the platform. With this, the Assistant will be able to remember what you ordered last time and do stuff like suggesting quantities when you repeat the same order and more. This is powered by Walmart’s Easy Reorder feature.
The Assistant will be able to understand commands like “order paper towels”, “get peanut butter from Walmart” and look at the corresponding quantity for the same purchase made earlier. Post that, if the value of the cart is above $35, the customer is prompted to check out and asked if they want it delivered within two days. As of now, Google Express delivery is free.
What could this mean for voice shopping
Voice powered shopping is the next avenue for digital commerce. According to research, Alexa itself could be a $10 billion business by the end of this decade. And with this move, Walmart is also throwing its hat into the race that is currently dominated by Amazon. As of now, this partnership is focussed on the Easy Reorder feature, but in future, we can definitely expect Google and Walmart to team up and work on broader plans pertaining to voice shopping. Because they (Walmart) certainly don’t seem to have any plans to build a similar voice shopping functionality for Alexa, even if it means losing out on a sizeable chunk of the voice shopping market.