Google and Walmart team up to let users shop for groceries using voice commands
- Walmart Voice Order lets users purchase grocery items via Google Assistant
- Rolls out to Google Home, Android and iPhone users beginning this month
- Users can even order perishables and the service learns preferences over time
Walmart shoppers can now do some online shopping using just their voice.
The retail giant is partnering with Google to launch grocery shopping on any devices equipped with Google Assistant.
Walmart Voice Order is rolling out to consumers beginning this month, the company said today.
Walmart shoppers can now shop using just their voice. The retail giant is partnering with Google to launch grocery shopping on any devices equipped with Google Assistant
It’ll become available for users with Google Home devices, as well as Assistant-equipped smart displays, Android phones and iPhones.
‘Now you can simply say “OK Google, talk to Walmart” on any device with the Google Assistant to reorder your favorite O.J.,’ the company said.
After that, items will be immediately added to the user’s online shopping cart.
‘Best of all, customers can be extra confident that we can quickly and accurately identify the items they are asking for with the help of information from their prior purchases with us,’ Tom Ward, senior vice president of digital operations at Walmart, said in a statement.
‘The more you use it, the better we’ll get.’
For example, instead of specifying exactly what kind of milk they usually buy, users can just say ‘add milk to my cart’ and the service will know that they prefer 1 percent milk from a certain brand, then add that to their shopping cart.
The service is rolling out for Google Assistant to start, but the firm said it expects to launch for more platforms soon.
It’s not yet clear what shipping options will be offered as part of the feature.
Walmart Voice Order is rolling out for Google Assistant users this month, but the firm expects to launch for more platforms soon. It’s not yet clear what shipping options will be offered
The move comes as Walmart has been trying to compete with the likes of e-commerce giant Amazon.
Many users’ introduction to voice-driven shopping was through Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, made easier by the fact that they often have Prime subscriptions.
With the Google partnership, Walmart is looking to catch up to Amazon in the market of voice-driven shipping.
Unlike Amazon’s service, however, Walmart’s integration with Google Assistant devices lets users order more than just toilet paper with their smart devices – they can order perishables too.
Additionally, Walmart has gradually been expanding into tech in recent months, announcing a cloud partnership with Microsoft last year.
HOW IS WALMART HARNESSING TECHNOLOGY TO COMPETE WITH ITS RIVALS?
Last year, Walmart revealed it is rolling out shelf-scanning robots in more than 50 U.S. stores to replenish inventory faster and save employees time when products run out.
The approximately 2-foot (0.61-meter) robots come with a tower that is fitted with cameras that scan aisles to check stock and identify missing and misplaced items, incorrect prices and mislabeling.
The robots pass that data to store employees, who then stock the shelves and fix errors.
Out-of-stock items are a big problem for retailers since they miss out on sales every time a shopper cannot find a product on store shelves.
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer has been testing shelf-scanning robots in a handful of stores in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and California.
And, one of Walmart Inc’s best chances at taking on Amazon.com Inc in e-commerce lies with six giant server farms, each larger than ten football fields.
These facilities, which cost Walmart millions of dollars and took nearly five years to build, are starting to pay off.
The retailer’s online sales have been on a tear for the last three consecutive quarters, far outpacing wider industry growth levels.
Powering that rise are thousands of proprietary servers that enable the company to crunch almost limitless swathes of customer data in-house.