Published: Thu, August 24, 2017
Tech | By Constance Martin

Wal-Mart, Google partner on voice ordering

Wal-Mart, Google partner on voice ordering

Google undoubtedly has hopes that the Walmart collaboration will help the company to improve its patchy record in the e-commerce industry.

The service is available across the US.

Walmart - which last year had $486 billion in revenue, more than three times Amazon.com's $136 billion - has spent the past year aggressively expanding its online reach.

In an announcement on the company's blog, Walmart CEO and President Marc Lore revealed how the two companies want to improve your online shopping experiences.

This means that Google Assistant will be able to remind users of their past purchases.

The functionality will be available in late September.

The collaboration is Wal-Mart's latest attempt to match the convenience of Amazon, which quickly delivers a bigger online selection and has a dominant line of voice-activated Echo speakers that play music, turn on air conditioners and handle shopping orders.

But it's also had to look beyond itself and form partnerships.

Amazon generally has been building its network of services on its own, using its Prime membership with same-day and even one-hour shipping options to develop loyalty. To date, Amazon leads this field as Alexa powered Echo speakers are tightly integrated into the eCommerce marketplace.

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"We continue our transformation to become more of a digital enterprise that moves with speed and agility", Wal-Mart Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said last week during the company's pre-recorded call for investors.

Google also will offer free delivery if the order meets the store's minimum order requirement.

Walmart, which owns the Asda chain of United Kingdom supermarkets, will offer customers a discount on picking up their items in store.

Walmart hasn't caught up to Amazon entirely, but their online retail side has grown.

Google has also scrapped the monthly/annual membership fee that was required before you could buy and ship through the service. To use this once the feature comes out, customers only need to link their Walmart account to Google Express. IT World Canada has made a request for comment from both Walmart and Google on the matter.

The partnership plans to expand next year, Walmart noted, by allowing customers to make purchases via voice command and pick up an order in the store, including groceries.

"That's why it makes sense for us to team up with Google".

Wal-Mart holds the biggest share of the USA grocery market of any retailer, with a network of almost 4,700 stores that the company says are located within 16 kilometers of about 90 percent of the United States population.

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