If you are one of the millions of people that hate grocery shopping but acknowledge it as a necessary part of life, we have good news for you. Walmart partnered with Google to launch Walmart Voice order, a Google Home-compatible application that lets users order groceries through any Google Assistant-enabled devices. This means that in addition to the Google Home, you can purchase groceries at Walmart through your smartphone, smartwatch, and more.
The system works by analyzing a customer’s previous orders. Rather than saying, “Hey Google, buy Great Value wheat bread,” you can just ask the system to buy bread. If you frequently buy Great Value wheat bread, the system will default to that option. This method is much easier than saying the entire name of the product.
Walmart Voice Order isn’t meant for purchasing items one at a time. It’s designed to add requested items to a shopping cart for later purchase instead of creating individual transactions for each item. This application flies in the face of a 2018 report that stated voice shopping was in decline.
The report failed to account for shopping tendencies and instead looked only at the number of transactions. People add items to a list or cart and check out all at once. Individual transactions for each purchase do not fit with how most people shop. Lists are a major part of revenue generation, but they are a harder element to track.
Walmart Voice Order will launch later in April to all Google Assistant-compatible devices. The service will roll out over time, so some devices might receive the functionality before others. In addition to introducing the service, Walmart says that voice shopping for grocery pickup will available at more than 2,100 stores and online delivery will be available at more than 800 stores.
The retail giant plans to add the service to other platforms in the future but says it will most likely not make Alexa part of that list. The Walmart-Amazon rivalry is real and the company’s decision to keep Walmart Voice Order off the Alexa platform comes as no surprise.
Current estimates state that anywhere from 11 to 13 percent of Walmart customers use the company’s pickup service, but the addition of Walmart Voice Order might result in a jump in customers ordering their groceries online and picking them up later.