Skip to main content

Google and Walmart team up to take on Amazon with voice assistant ordering

You can now order nearly anything from Walmart via Google Home, Google Express

Walmart Google partnership
Google doesn’t want Amazon to have all the fun, so it’s teaming up with one of the largest brick-and-mortar retailers in an attempt to beat the digital retail giant at its own game. One month after Walmart and Google announced a partnership that promised to “bring you hundreds of thousands of products at Walmart’s Every Day Low Prices … that you can buy through voice with your Assistant on Google Home or on the Google Express website or app,” that partnership has gone live.

If it sounds familiar, it’s because you can already do your voice-based shopping through Amazon with Alexa and the various Echo devices. Now, Google’s partnership with Walmart brings together two titans in their respective industries. You can now buy just any of Walmart’s products through Google Express by using the Google Express app or via voice with the Google Home. Items over $35 will ship free, but you’ll have to pay a small fee for anything under that minimum.

Google Express has also done away with its membership fees, which means that you no longer have to pay either $10 a month or $95 a year to get free delivery in one to three days. That, if nothing else, gives the service an advantage over Amazon, whose famed Prime membership probably will not be free anytime soon.

Now that Google is getting rid of fees, it is hoping that it might see greater adoption of shopping via voice. Taking advantage of the new functionality ought to be simple enough — if you are already a Walmart customer, just link your Walmart account to Google and you will receive personalized shopping results based on your order history.

“It’s still really early days [for voice shopping]. However, we have watched the advancements in artificial intelligence over the previous two years and can extrapolate as to where it’s going,” Marc Lore, Walmart’s head of ecommerce in the U.S, said in an interview with TechCrunch. “We do think that, in the future, voice will be orders of magnitude further along than it is today in understanding and responding to consumer needs. It’s going to be a powerful mechanism to enhance the shopping experience.”

Update: Google and Walmart’s partnership has finally gone live. 

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Google’s latest anti-spam change helps clean up your calendar
google calendar tips and tricks feature

Spam is one of the many enemies of the internet, and Google has come up with a new way to tackle it -- at least on your calendar. The search engine giant recently tweaked how events show on Google Calendar so that you'll only be able to display events from senders you know.

With the change, you'll still get email event invitations from unknown senders, but they will only appear in your calendar after you accept. This means that only meetings from people in your same company domain, people in your contacts list, or people you've interacted with before will be added to your calendar automatically. Typically, these are usually trusted people who won't be sending you spam meetings that can mess with your calendar.

Read more
Amazon feature has Alexa speaking in voice of late relative
Amazon Echo (4th Gen) on a kitchen counter.

Whether you find it comforting or creepy rather depends on your disposition, but Amazon has found a way to get Alexa to speak in the voice of anyone -- including a deceased relative.

The feature was explained by Rohit Prasad, senior vice president and head scientist for the Alexa team, during Amazon’s Re:Mars conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 22.

Read more
Best Google Assistant settings to update right now
google assistant mobile.

Do you talk to your digital assistant a lot? If Google is your virtual butler of choice, you already know it can be an invaluable and hands-free way to get information instantly. Google is constantly working to improve its A.I. helper, and some recent upgrades can help you get more from your Assistant.
What is Google Assistant?

Google Assistant is a virtual helper that can listen for your questions and respond to anything you ask. You can find Google Assistant on all Android devices and smartphones, and on Google smart home speakers like Google Home Hub or Google Audio speakers.

Read more