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Walmart partners with Google and takes aim at Amazon

Walmart partners with Google's voice enabled AI assistant to provide a voice-first shopping experience.

8/24/2017 11:07:18 AM
Walmart partners with Google and takes aim at Amazon
Posted Thursday, August 24, 2017 by Richard Harris, Executive Editor

Walmart partners with Google and takes aim at Amazon
Walmart announced a partnership with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items for voice shopping via Google Assistant - the largest number of items currently offered by a retailer through the platform. One of the primary use cases for voice shopping will be the ability to build a basket of previously purchased everyday essentials.

Walmart’s blog post acknowledges how this sets them up as a direct voice-based competitor to Amazon Alexa and Prime, then sells the additional benefits of pick-up (with discount) - a clear shot over the bow that will no doubt see some return-fire from Amazon as soon as the Whole Foods deal is wrapped up. Walmart is not slowing down their innovation and we expect to see more offers that drive consumer benefits, such as pick-up discounts, and perhaps even timed pick-up discounts when things are less busy, as they dig deeper into the analytics of their costs and margins to further optimize.

From a consumer perspective, this means a new era of grocery shopping. We’ve seen the barcode reading fridges and the mobile apps, but a ‘regular’ consumer hasn’t take up these options because they’re habit-breaking. Though ordering with a voice assistant is also a new habit for consumers, it is incremental for users who already own and enjoy voice-assistant speakers in their home. This means the leap now looks like a small step that provides greater convenience.

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