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Walmart Enables Voice Shopping With Google Partnership

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Photo credit: Walmart

Low prices might be Walmart’s promise but convenience is obviously also a top priority for the mass merchant these days—as is staying in lockstep with Amazon, it seems.

Starting in September, Walmart shoppers can shop via Google Express. Using voice commands, consumers who have linked their Walmart accounts with the Google service can quickly add items to their carts. Further, Walmart’s Easy Reorder feature, which launched last month, allows shoppers to quickly add goods they’ve purchased before—either online or in store—to their lists.

And if this new capability sounds to you like Walmart’s stepping into Amazon Echo territory, Marc Lore says you’re not wrong. “We know this means being compared side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be. An open and transparent shopping universe is good for customers,” Walmart’s president and CEO of the U.S. e-commerce business said on the company’s blog.

Lore said Walmart opted to partner with Google based on the tech company’s “significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence.”

Walmart is just the latest to team up with Google Express. Costco and Whole Foods are already partners.

Earlier this week, Walmart also announced it will be extending its collaboration with Uber, bringing its grocery delivery pilot to Orlando and Dallas. This delivery option is already in effect in Tampa and Phoenix for shoppers whose purchases total at least $30 and who are willing to pay the $9.95 fee.

Walmart has been aggressively shoring up its e-commerce offerings and capabilities—through acquisitions like Jet.com, Bonobos and Modcloth—and experimenting with new ways to leverage its store fleet for crossover between online and offline purchases and consumers. The Uber fulfillment plan joins a range of options Walmart is testing now, including store employees dropping off goods on their way home as well as discounts for consumers who shop online and pick up in store either via the chain’s new pickup towers or curbside.

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