Google and Walmart are joining forces in a collaboration that will see the pair challenge Amazon’s online market share, with Google selling Walmart products through its Google Express online shopping site.
The partnership, due to roll out in September, will be the first time Walmart has sold its products outside its own website in the US, with the retailer selling on Express.google.com, the Google Express app, and through Google Assistant-enabled devices such as Google Home.
Consumers will be able to link their Google and Walmart accounts once the partnership starts, allowing Google to access their past buying behavior and anticipate future purchases, while buying shortcuts through the Google Assistant voice software will allow easy reordering of items.
Google’s Head of Commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy has labelled the partnership ‘the first of its kind’, with Google removing its $95 annual membership fee for Google Express, with Walmart’s shipping policy mirroring that on its own website. Meanwhile, Walmart customers ordering through Google Express will be able to pick up items in Walmart stores for a discounted price.
Walmart’s e-commerce Chief Executive Officer Marc Lore told the Business Insider, “There will be certain specific use cases in shopping where voice will be the preferred means. You can imagine you’re driving home from work and ordering from groceries via voice and picking them up at your local Walmart on the way home.”
There are said to be future plans for Walmart customers to be able to shop via the Google Assistant; the artificially intelligent software assistant that runs Google’s Android software in smartphones.