Google Express drops membership requirement, adds Walmart to shopping service

Dora Pope
August 24, 2017

"Walmart customers can link their accounts to Google, allowing the technology giant to learn their past shopping behavior to better predict what they want in the future".

The new voice shopping option for Walmart will launch in late September.

In the world of retail, Walmart is viewed as the most formidable challenger to Amazon, and that company has just made another move on the retail chess board.

USA retailer Walmart and internet giant Google have teamed up to offer voice-enabled shopping and delivery services.

Customers might be able to use voice shopping to pick up a discounted order in-store or buy fresh groceries across the country.

In return, Google would lend its artificial intelligence and data expertise to simplify the shopping process.

The primary way that Walmart sees Google Express shoppers placing orders is to reorder consumable products that they've previously purchased in-store or from Walmart.com.

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In a blog post on Wednesday, Walmart announced a voice-shopping partnership with search engine Google. Sales of the Google Home speaker are far below sales of the Amazon Echo speaker, according to third-party estimates.

"The membership was getting in the way in terms of the amount of friction in the experience", said Brian Elliott, general manager of Google Express.

And it underscores Walmart's drive to compete in an area dominated by Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo device.

Adding Walmart's huge product line to the mix would likely be a boon to Google Express, but for Walmart, it means going head-to-head online with numerous same retailers it has battled on terra firma - including such giants as Target and Costco, whose products already appear on Google Express.

Google has also dropped the $10 a month or $95 a year membership fee for Express and is now offering free delivery so long as an order meets each store's minimum, which is usually between $25 to $35. Partnering up with Google gives them missing pieces that Amazon already has in their arsenal. "Next year, we will also leverage our 4,700 USA stores and our fulfillment network to create customer experiences that don't now exist within voice shopping anywhere else", Lore wrote. To use this once the feature comes out, customers only need to link their Walmart account to Google Express. Or you went to the store only to realize they didn't have the brand you wanted?

Voice shopping will include all of the latest benefits of Walmart's digital channel, including free two-day shipping and an in-store pickup discount.

Other reports by My Hot News

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