Walmart Taps Google for Omnichannel Commerce Play

The Google Home smart home device

Lore said in the blog post Wal-Mart was also integrating its quick reordering tool into Google's same-day delivery service.

The partnership is a direct challenge to Amazon's voice shopping with Alexa, which the company has been heavily pushing with promotions and discounts.

This partnership ups the game in voice enabled eCommerce.

It's also been drawing in customers with its Alexa-powered devices. Further, if customers link their accounts, Google will be able to learn about their purchasing trends and anticipate when to re-order products. That might soon change as Walmart is set to partner with Google in order to expand its online reach. For Walmart purchases, fulfillment will be made by the retailer. Special discounts were available for people using voice shopping for the first time.

"And if voice commerce becomes popular and shoppers actually start searching for products by speaking to a device, Walmart is perhaps the only retailer in the US that comes close to offering the breadth of Amazon's product catalogue", he continues. However, Wal-Mart will offer the largest selection of products on the Express platform.

Mr Lore said: 'That's why it makes sense for us to team up with Google. "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". Walmart customers will also be able to shop using the Google Assistant, artificially intelligent software in Google's Android smartphones.

Among the other companies that already have a tie-up with Google Express include target, Whole Foods, Costco, and Kohl's, to name a few.

The delivery service now offers access to big box retailers such as Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, Toys R Us, Walgreens, Target, Costco, and others in similar market segments.

Walmart and Google have joined forces to fight Amazon for shopping with the sound of your voice.

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What we do know is voice command services are going to be huge.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of ads and commerce at Google, added that, not surprisingly, Google is "thrilled to partner with one of the most popular stores in America to help make your shopping faster and easier".

Sadly, Walmart will not be available instantly on Google Express.

Amazon has a big lead over Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL) in voice activated devices while Wal-Mart is playing catch-up in e-commerce.

Privacy conscious consumers may be a bit anxious. The approach appears to be paying off: Walmart reported a 60% jump in e-commerce sales last quarter compared to the same period past year.

"However, with most online shopping being done through a computer-centred experience, voice shopping has the ability to transform that into a human-centred experience".

And now Google gains access to this data. As a result this could pose a risk to existing customer loyalty and brand equity that they possess with customers.

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, owns Asda in the UK.

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