Walmart adds voice to its grocery strategy
Walmart is taking a page from Amazon's playbook and rolling out its own voice shopping strategy, with the help of Google.
Beginning in September, shoppers will be able to buy Walmart products using the voice-activated Google Assistant platform on phones and home devices.
Amazon's AI virtual assistant Alexa already enables users to shop directly from the online retail giant.
The partnership enables Walmart to challenge Amazon's dominance of the U.S. voice shopping market by offering the largest number of items currently offered by a retailer through the Google Assistant platform.
"One of the primary use cases for voice shopping will be the ability to build a basket of previously purchased everyday essentials," said president and CEO, Walmart U.S. E-Commerce, Marc Lore. "That’s why we decided to deeply integrate our Easy Reorder feature into Google Express. This will enable us to deliver highly personalized shopping recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases, including those made in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com. To take advantage of this personalization, customers only need to link their Walmart account to Google Express."
And, this is just the beginning. Next year, Walmart plans to leverage its 4,700 U.S. stores and 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.
"Our new voice shopping capability, coupled with our core value proposition, including free two-day shipping and the Pickup Discount, will give our customers a compelling new way to get what they need at low prices. 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," Lore added.