It looks like Walmart and Google are teaming up to take on the reigning champ of the online retailing business, Amazon. Specifically, Walmart and Google are taking on Amazon’s "Prime" shipping service.
According to an announcement made by Google on Wednesday, this coming September, they will team up with Walmart, the largest offline retailer in the United States. Google is in the process of releasing its e-commerce platform known as Google Express.
When Google Express will be finally available to the consumers, they can place their orders via Express, Google.com or through the Google Express app. It's also possible to access Google Express via Google assistant-enabled devices like Google Home.
When the partnership officially launches, Walmart is going to be the largest vendor on the Google Express platform.
However, this partnership could be the first of many to come. According to Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s Head of Commerce, this partnership is the first of its kind.
According to Ramaswamy, once the service is finally released to the public, consumers can start linking their Google and Walmart accounts. This will allow consumers to have integrated features such as creating a shortcut re-order for items they frequently buy in Walmart. What's more exciting is they can do voice ordering via Google Assistant.
For example, a consumer can say "add paper towels" to the Google Assistant. Google's voice assistant software will then add the most frequently bought paper towel, and the software will also know the most frequently brought brand and size.
According to Ramaswamy, there's also a plan to allow consumers to do offline pickup at Walmart branches. The items will be at a discounted price to entice customers to choose this option.
This partnership between Google and Walmart puts them in the ring with Amazon. Amazon also has a similar service known as Alexa. However, it seems like Amazon is still ahead of the game especially considering that Alexa is already doing a good job at integrating speech recognition and voice control technology. This allows the customers to purchase products via voice and get shipped through Amazon's Prime service.
Aside from the partnership, Google is also announcing that they will be removing the $95 annual membership fee for their Google Express platform. In the past, Google just gave free shipping for a limited time when you first signed up with Google Express. Now, a new Google Express member will have a specific threshold for free shipping.
According to Business Insider, Marc Lore, the CEO of Walmart, is very optimistic about this partnership and he thinks that ordering via voice is the future.
He also stated that there’s a specific time wherein voice may be the preferred medium for shopping. An example of this is while you are driving from work. In this case, you will be able to order your groceries via voice. Then, you can simply pick them up at a Walmart store before you head home.