Under a new partnership with Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) - Get Report Google, Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) - Get Report will allow shoppers to make purchases through the voice-activated device Google Home, the Google Express app or its website. A Google assistant, which is tantamount to an online personal shopper, will be assigned to each customer to fulfill the order and set it up to be delivered to their homes.
The effort is Walmart's latest attempt to beat down Amazon, which already allows people to shop via its Alexa digital assistant.
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"I think this gives us a look into the future of shopping, yes," Walmart president and CEO of U.S. eCommerce Marc Lore told TheStreet in an interview. "I think with the advancements in artificial intelligence voice ordering will get better over time."
The initiative launches at the end of September, and will be offered with a free one- to three-day shipping service on orders over $35.
Shoppers don't need a Walmart account to access the service, but if they do, they can opt to link it through Google Express, making it easier for their Google Assistant to track old orders.
For example, if a shopper orders Gatorade the Google assistant will let them know which size and type was previously ordered from Walmart.
Target Corp. (TGT) - Get Report and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) - Get Report already have similar shopping services offered through Google, according to the tech behemoth. But, Walmart claims it will offer the largest number of items (hundreds of thousands, Walmart says) by a retailer on the platform. It is also quick to point out that it's ability to offer personalized shopping lists is a key difference.
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