Google and Walmart Announce Partnership to Rival Amazon
Today, 5th September 2017, Google and Walmart have announced that they are partnering in an attempt to rival Amazon through a partnership in which Google are allowing Walmart to use their Home Speaker as well as other mobile devices that are voice based. Amazon are currently dominating the segments of smart speakers and eCommerce, and this move is intended to challenge their dominance.
Strength of Amazon
Amazon`s domination of the speech recognition area is plain for all to see, and half of Amazon Echo owners use the Amazon voice technology, Alexa to make a purchase, and 30% of those owners use the voice technology to make purchases once a week. For this move to happen at this time does suggest an urgency felt by Google and Walmart to react as quickly as possible to the apparent dominance by Amazon in the market.
The partnership will allow Walmart customers to use Google Assistant to buy a wide range of items online by the end of September. This is thought to be most items that are offered by any retailer in the world of eCommerce.
According to SEO of Walmart`s US eCommerce business Marc Lore, Walmart will ensure an integration of the Easy Order functionality for Google Express is being carried out. This functionality will allow customers to create a basket using the items they bought previously.
The advancement Google has made concerning language processors and AI technologies allows the creation of a potent shopping experience based on voice commands.
Walmart`s plans for 2018 include allowing customers to pick-up instore as well as using Google Assistant to allow them to carry out groceries shopping in the US.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP for Ads and Commerce at Google stated that it will be possible for Walmart users to connect their account to Google and share the information on their purchases, which will result in fully personalised shopping experience that is based on the previous shopping behaviour, both online, and in physical stores.
Google are planning on expanding their Google Express feature experience to incorporate Google Home. Google Home, is a smart speaker which was launched by Google to rival Amazon`s Echo range. They have over 50 retailers who are involved in their Google Express program, and have recently started to offer free delivery for orders made over Google Express (which meet the minimum requirement set by the retailers).
This move by Google and Walmart are a clear sign that they are worried about Amazon`s apparent domination in the voice technology area and have seemingly come back fighting. This can only be a good thing for consumers.