Walmart and Google to offer voice-enabled shopping

Walmart and Google to offer voice-enabled shopping

Google and Walmart unveil e-commerce partnership retail giant Walmart have come together to float a new venture that will make the retailer's products available on the internet giant's online shopping mall.

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

Walmart Stores is teaming up with Alphabet's Google to enter the nascent voice-shopping market, now dominated by Amazon.com, adding another front to Walmart's battle with the online megastore.

Mr Lore, who joined the world's largest retailer after it bought his e-commerce company Jet.com, said Walmart would offer a wider selection than any retailer on the platform. There was no mention in the announcement about whether the tie-up with Google would be extended outside the US. "They've made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience", the post explained.

Researchers say this segment of market shopping is growing like no other; spearheaded, of course, by Amazon's pervasive presence in people's lives online and now in most rooms of their homes through Alexa on the Echo.

Still, many have pointed out that this is not equivalent by any means, since Amazon Prime not only guarantees express shipments free of charge, but also gives you access to their proprietary streaming service, makes you eligible for special discounts and benefits, and more for just $5 more than Google Express.

Announced today, Google's Express delivery service will partner with Walmart, allowing customers to buy items from the retailer through the service's website or app, or via the Google Home smart speaker using voice commands.

One of main selling points of any voice shopping function is the ability to create reusable shopping lists, particularly for daily household items that need frequent re-ordering.

Walmart is also joining the likes of Target and Costco on Google Express, and the delivery service is getting an overhaul.

Marc Lore, president and chief executive of Walmart's U.S. eCommerce division, said that the work on the new project will begin in late September.

Mr Lore said the plans would be rolled out further next year, with Walmart using its 4,700 USA stores to "create customer experiences that don't now exist within voice shopping anywhere else".