Walmart, Google Partner Up On Voice-Activated Shopping To Take On Amazon

There’s a new kid moving onto Alexa’s block: Walmart and Google have decided to pair up to offer a slew of items through voice shopping by way of Google Assistant.

Brand new buddies

In a pair of blog posts, Walmart CEO Marc Lore and Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy, both remind people that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day to stop at the store.

To make shopping easier, the companies say they’ll have “hundreds of thousands” of products from “laundry detergent to Legos” available from Walmart that can be purchased either with Google Home or the Google Express website and app.

The partnership is the largest currently offered by any retailer through Google’s platform, Lore notes.

Here’s how it’ll work: Existing Walmart customers can link their Walmart account to Google in order to receive personalized shopping results based on your online and in-store Walmart purchases. So if you’ve ordered detergent pods in the past, Google Assistant will let you know which size and type you previously ordered from Walmart to make reordering easier.

Lore doesn’t name the elephant in the room — it rhymes with “Shmamazon” — but he does note that there’s some competition out there in this arena.

“We know this means being compared side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be,” Lore writes. “An open and transparent shopping universe is good for customers.”

In other news

Both Google and Walmart took the opportunity to tack on some other news in today’s announcements.

Walmart says it will take advantage of its thousands of U.S. stores — and the fact that you probably live near one — and its fulfillment network to offer voice-shopping experiences that “don’t currently exist” 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.”

Meanwhile, Google announced that starting today it will offer free shipping on Google Express as long as your order is above each store’s minimum, noting that there’s “no membership required.”