Wal-Mart is adding voice activated shopping to its arsenal in its bid to better compete with its biggest rival: eCommerce king Amazon.
The partnership with Google is a bid to make shopping as convenient as possible for busy consumers. Beginning late next month, Wal-Mart will have hundreds of thousands of items available for voice shopping via Google Assistant on Google Home or on the Google Express website or app.
Wal-Mart head of eCommerce Marc Lore said the upcoming voice shopping capability will come with free two-day shipping and a pickup discount.
“When it comes to voice shopping, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers. That’s why it makes sense for us to team up with Google,” Lore said in a blog post. “They’ve made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience. We know this means being compared side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be. An open and transparent shopping universe is good for customers.”
If you are an existing Wal-Mart customer, you will have the ability to link your Wal-Mart account to Google to receive personalized shopping results based on your online and in-store buys. If you ordered coffee, for instance, Google Assistant would remind you which size and type you purchased in the past to make it easier for you to buy the right product.
When using the new functionality, which is set to roll out in September, you will have to meet the minimum spend requirement to qualify for free shipping.
The new partnership is just the beginning, according to Lore.
“Next year, we will leverage our 4,700 U.S. stores and our fulfillment network to create customer experiences that don’t currently exist within voice shopping anywhere else, including choosing to pick up an order in store (often for a discount) or using voice shopping to purchase fresh groceries across the country,” he said.
“We will continue to focus on creating new opportunities to simplify people’s lives and help them shop in ways they’ve not yet imagined.”