Walmart has been flexing its tech capabilities, especially in e-commerce channels. Now it is beefing up conversational commerce features in a partnership with Google. It’s not surprising that Walmart’s grocery stores will be the prime beneficiary. Grocery has become a hotly contested vertical as there are many players looking to grab market share from each other. Price cutting, technology investments, and online ordering are the current strategies. Consumers have taken favorably to Amazon’s Alexa for shopping by voice. So this is a significant conversational commerce play by Walmart to make its presence felt with grocery as the main battleground.
A TechCrunch article has the whole story which is excerpted below.
Following the latest wave of price cuts at Amazon’s Whole Foods announced Monday evening, Walmart today introduced its own plans to challenge Amazon on grocery shopping through a partnership with Google. The company is rolling out a new voice ordering capability, Walmart Voice Order, which works across Google Assistant-powered platforms, including Google’s smart speakers and displays, smartphones, smartwatches, and more.
The news follows several efforts by Walmart to enter voice-based commerce, despite not offering its own hardware or voice assistant platform, as Amazon does with Echo and Alexa, respectively.
Two years ago, Walmart and Google partnered on voice-based shopping through Google Home devices. Specifically, customers could easily reorder favorites through Google’s shopping service, Google Express. However, Walmart disappeared from Google Express’ marketplace this January, and was more recently said to be testing an online grocery voice application with a small number of VIP customers, ahead of a spring launch.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Service at Mercator Advisory Group