Walmart and Google, two household names that are well-known for… well, almost everything, are partnering to challenge Amazon Echo’s artificial intelligence voice assistant Alexa.
To do so, Walmart is bringing its products to Google Express, Google’s online shopping hub that delivers products quickly from recognizable stores like Costco, Walgreens, Kohl’s, and more. Many are stating that the move is intended to compete with Amazon, but Google and Walmart state that the partnership is intended to meet and anticipate shopping trends in the future.
As more consumers opt for online shopping for more everyday items, brick-and-mortar stores from all sectors are feeling the loss of business. Some recent stats from Pew Research show that of the 8 in 10 Americans who are online shoppers, 15% of them buy online on a weekly basis. For Walmart and other stores, partnering with giants like Google allow stores to make up for sale online where they are losing out in person.
Walmart’s Digital Evolution
Walmart has been working diligently to increase its digital prowess among stiff and tenured competition. In January, Walmart began offering free, two-day shipping on millions of items and rewarding customers with discounts for ordering their groceries online and then picking them up at a local store. This strategy carries convenience for the customer and makes Walmart’s stores double as fulfillment centers.
Voice-shopping at Home and on Mobile
The first phase of the partnership with Google will allow Walmart customers to reorder items through their Google Home, Google’s AI voice assistant. In the future, Google wants Android users to be able to reorder items through Google Assistant, the AI software in their phones.
By connecting your Walmart account to Google, the internet giant also gains past shopping data from users, which will allow Google to make better predictions of what their customers want in the future.