Wal-Mart (WMT - Free Report) announced on Wednesday that the company will partner with Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google to give shoppers the ability to order thousands of products through Google Express using voice-activated shopping.
Wal-Mart customers can soon link their Wal-Mart accounts directly to Google Express, Google’s online marketplace. Google Express already offers products from a variety of stores, such as Target (TGT - Free Report) and Whole Foods . However, Wal-Mart will offer the largest selection of products on the Express platform.
Once customers link their Wal-Mart accounts to Google Marketplace, they can order items quickly through Google Home using their voice or by shopping online. Google plans to use consumers’ past Wal-Mart history to learn their shopping patterns and to determine which products the service should recommend.
“It makes sense for us to team up with Google,” said Marc Lore, Wal-Mart’s head of e-commerce, in a Wednesday morning blog post. “They’ve made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience.”
This partnership will directly challenge Amazon.com (AMZN - Free Report) , which currently dominates voice shopping with its Alexa-powered Echo devices. While Google introduced its Express platform to Google Home this past February, Amazon has offered voice-activated shopping on Echo devices since 2014.
Google will also put pressure on Amazon by offering free delivery on Google Express orders, starting Wednesday. Consumers just need to make sure their orders reach retailer’s minimum threshold. Wal-Mart, for example has a minimum of $35. Currently, Amazon offers free delivery to Prime members or on orders of $25 or more that include only eligible items.
Lore expects the partnership between Wal-Mart and Google Express to grow. “Next year, we will also leverage our 4,700 U.S. stores and our fulfillment network to create customer experiences that don’t currently exist within voice shopping anywhere else,” Lore wrote.
These additional services would allow customers to use voice-activated shopping for pick-up orders in stores, at a discount, and to purchase fresh groceries. Just this Monday, Wal-Mart announced an expansion of their partnership with Uber to deliver groceries in Dallas and Orlando.
Wal-Mart products will be available on Google Express in late September.
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