Google is once again trying to beat Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa but this time it has teamed up with Walmart to create a voice shopping feature that will work with the Google Home device.
Google revealed the new plans to Recode on Tuesday, thus giving out its plan for competing with the Amazon Alexa in terms of shopping. The Partnership between Walmart and Google will work towards making thousands of products sold by Walmart accessible to shoppers via the Google Home speaker. This means shoppers will be able to order products by simply giving an audio command to the device.
The new feature will allow Google Home owners the option of purchasing one item at a time from Walmart, or they could use it to add multiple items to their carts. They can then complete the purchase later through the Google Home App. Google Home shopping is still relatively new, having been introduced earlier this year. Its already existing partners include PetSmart, Costco, and Walgreens.
Google’s plan with the service was to launch e-commerce services that are similar to those offered through Amazon Alexa. Amazon also happens to be a dangerous rival to the companies partnering with Google, thus the move offered them a competitive position that would allow them to keep up with the e-commerce giant.
“More competition, more choice is great for consumers,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s head of commerce and ads during an interview with Recode.
Google Home was thus the most viable option for most of the companies that are Amazon rivals. Google also has a strong relationship with Walmart because they already work together on advertising partnerships. Meanwhile, the software and internet giant plans to throw out the $95 annual membership fee that customers pay for the express shopping service voice-shopping platform. The company is bringing it to an end after three years since its launch.
Shoppers who purchase orders through Google Home or Google Express will not pay any extra fees as long as they reach their free shipping threshold. Those who will not reach the threshold will pay an extra fee of $4.99. Google and Walmart also plan to expand their partnership in 2018 to include the ability to order products for in-store pickups. This means customers will be able to make orders through Google Home and pick the products from Walmart stores.