Walmart Partners with Google Express for Hands-Free Shopping

Posted August 24, 2017

Google and Walmart have struck a deal to let consumers purchase Walmart products though the Google Home smart speaker. Shoppers who want to reorder their favorites can link their Walmart account to Google Express.

"It makes sense for us to team up with Google", said Marc Lore, Wal-Mart's head of e-commerce, in a Wednesday morning blog post. Existing Walmart customers will simply have to link their Walmart account to Google to receive personalized shopping results based on previous online and in-store Walmart purchases. "That's why we made a decision to deeply integrate our Easy Reorder feature into Google Express", he said. But Walmart is coming up with something new, as soon as you meet the merchant's minimum purchase option, the items will be delivered to your home for free.

Walmart isn't the first retailer to partner with Google's Express platform, but it is the first to feature voice activated features. This will be a great feature and it will help you out in many ways in order to get you the best of shopping experience through your Walmart.

Next year, Google and Walmart's partnership is also confirmed to add support for making grocery orders through Google Home for in-store pickup or for delivery.

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"We know this [update] means being compared side-by-side with other retailers", Lore wrote in a not-so-subtle hat tip to Amazon. According to research firm eMarketer, Amazon's Alexa is leading the US voice-controlled device industry, with Echo devices capturing 72.2% of the market in 2016, compared to the Google Home gadget's 22% share of the market. Google Express earns money on commissions from those merchants.

Google Express allows you to shop at a variety of popular stores including Walmart, Costco and Whole Foods Market on the app, the Express website, or by voice. "Walmart said it would fulfill its Google Express orders itself, a new, likely cheaper model for Google", report Jack Nicas and Laura Stevens for the Wall Street Journal. Amazon also recently began to roll out its Alexa voice assistant to the Amazon shopping app on Android, ZDNet reported.

"The move is an intelligent and natural joint venture for both Walmart and Google", Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom said in a research note.

"I don't see Walmart as a rival to Amazon because Amazon is also a platform provider, whilst Alexa represents a much bigger ambition than just another way of doing online shopping".