Google announced Tuesday night that it would be partnering with Wal-Mart to make the retailer's items available on the Google Express shopping platform and through the voice-controlled Google Assistant.
"If you're an existing Walmart customer, you can choose to link your Walmart account to Google and receive personalized shopping results based on your online and in-store Walmart purchases", said Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google's senior vice president for ads & commerce.
Google said it is also offering free delivery on Google Express as long as orders are above each store's minimum.
Google introduced shopping to Home in February, letting people use voice to order essentials from more than 40 retailers like Target and Costco under its Google Express program. Further, Walmart's Easy Reorder feature, which launched last month, allows shoppers to quickly add goods they've purchased before-either online or in store-to their lists.
Many of these initiatives seem to be aimed at leveraging Wal-Mart's physical stores to give the company's online shopping an edge over Amazon, and Lore said in his statement that Wal-Mart plans to use its 4,700 USA retail stores and fulfillment infrastructure to "create customer experiences that don't now exist within voice shopping anywhere else".
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"Walmart and Google make for unusual bedfellows, but it actually makes a lot of sense, " said Krista Garcia, an analyst at eMarketer, a NY market research firm.
By linking their online Walmart account to Google Express, shoppers can let the system make buying recommendations based on store and online purchase history, including regular purchases of everyday items via Walmart's Easy Reorder.
"Our new voice shopping capability. will give our customers a compelling new way to get what they need at low prices", Lore said.
And as The New York Times notes: "Google is a laggard in e-commerce".
The two companies are betting that voice shopping will play a key role in the future of online retail.
'Voice shopping is becoming a more important part of everyday shopping behavior, ' said Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart's U.S. e-commerce business.
With the help of voice assistant Alexa, this already offers shopping services through the Amazon website - including food delivery service, Amazon Fresh.