San Francisco, CA – In an effort to compete with the ever-growing dominance of Amazon.com, Google and Walmart are teaming to let people buy Walmart products through Google Express, the companies announced on Wednesday.
“We are trying to help customers shop in ways that they may have never imagined,” said Marc Lore, who became the head of Walmart’s ecommerce business last year when the retailer bought Jet.com. Lore founded Jet to compete with Amazon, which bought his first startup company.
As Amazon has grown in breadth and scope of offerings, it’s become the defacto starting point for many shoppers looking to buy online. Its Alexa and Echo also allow people to order by voice.
Google and Walmart, in announcing the partnership, said they can see a time when Walmart customers reorder items they purchased by speaking to Google Home. Walmart customers will also be able to shop using the Google Assistant, artificially intelligent software in Google’s Android smartphones.
The alliance would let Walmart customers link their accounts to Google, giving the search giant predictive information for what might be bought next.
“One of the primary use cases for voice shopping will be the ability to build a basket of previously purchased everyday essentials,” Lore said in announcing the partnership. “That’s why we decided to deeply integrate our Easy Reorder feature into Google Express. 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. To take advantage of this personalization, customers only need to link their Walmart account to Google Express.”
Google said it will offer free delivery to shoppers who meet minimums. In its quarterly earnings call with analysts last week, Walmart said its Q2 online sales – including online grocery — were up by 60% over 2016. In January, it began offering free, two-day shipping and for grocery allows customers to order online and pick up at stores.
Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 8/23/17