Google and Walmart are joining forces and setting their sights on beating Amazon. And how do they plan to do it? Well, they are heavily weighing in voice-based shopping in their plans. Voice-based shopping is expected to take off in a big way. These two companies plan to bring this experience to more individuals. Walmart is going to leverage Google’s online retailing service, Google Express, to expand its reach to a larger market. Prior to this development, Walmart’s products were only available on the company website.
CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce, Marc Lore is quite optimistic about customers lapping up voice-based shopping because it makes things easier for their customers. He also sees Google as the best partner for this endeavor.
Accessing Orders Through Voice-Enabled Shopping
So, how does it work? All customers need to do is say their order out loud through the Google Assistant app. They can also use Google Home’s voice-activated speaker. Voice-activated shopping is still in the early development stage. However, the technology will become mainstream in not too distant a future, predict analysts.
To encourage more consumers to use this feature, Google will waive off its $95 annual membership. Free delivery will be included for orders that fulfill a specific amount. Customers can also link their Google and Walmart accounts to receive personalized shopping results. This would allow Google Assistant to predict the size and type of a product for your next order based on previous purchases. Walmart also plans to position itself uniquely by creating customer experiences not offered currently by any other online retailer. Customers could pick up a discounted order from the store. They could also employ voice shopping “to purchase fresh groceries across the country,” Lore continues.
Keeping Up with Competition
With this offering, Walmart, the undisputed king of brick-and-mortar retail, is taking Amazon, the online retailer behemoth, head on. While Walmart is building a digital advantage, Amazon intends to grab its competitor’s lower-income market. The online giant has also removed its Amazon Prime membership for customers that use an electronic benefits transfer card.
With a market share of more than 70 percent, Amazon is well ahead of the competition in the voice-based shopping space. As of now, Amazon has a lion’s share in online retail, with Walmart trailing far behind. Google too has not had much success with e-commerce so far, but this partnership with Walmart might do the trick.
Google Express will also put Walmart in direct competition with other popular retail chains such as Costco and Target whose products already feature on Google Express. Walmart, however, does not see this as a setback. It believes such competition brings complete transparency in product offering and pricing, something that eventually benefits the consumer.