Walmart has decided to take on its online rival Amazon with help from Google. Voice shopping market is still in its initial stages and Amazon its sole leader. When it comes to shopping, Walmart has been battling it out with Amazon for a long time now. But now the stakes have been raised, with the entry of Google. The tech giant distributes Android in most of the smartphones in the world and it has the Google Assistant. This voice activated assistant will now offer thousands of products from Walmart. Marc Lore wrote a blog in which he said that the move will come late in September. Lore, who owned Jet.com, an e-commerce platform, joined Amazon after the acquisition. With ‘a wider selection than any retailer’, WalMart is all set to take on Amazon which is globally the largest e-tailer.
While Google has the Assistant, Amazon has the popular voice speaker Alexa. Amazon has enabled users to shop from the website using Alexa. When it comes to the US’ voice device industry, Amazon Echo has a huge share of over 70 percent, while Google home has just above 20 percent, according to a research by eMarketer. Amazon almost has a monopoly on online sales, as it has left behind WalMart and other brick and mortar shops. But WalMart does not want to lag behind as it has been really aggressive in its strategies. Some of the moves include free shipping and discounts on pick up in-stores. This even made Amazon copy the decision by offering deals on shipping.
WalMart has also integrated a fast reordering tool in the Google delivery service, Lore informed in the blog post. This means that voice shopping will enable users to build baskets of everyday products which were purchased earlier. Lore also said that the company has even bigger plans for 2018 when it comes to voice shopping. He said that Walmart will capitalise on its around 5000 stores in the US to “create customer experiences that don’t currently exist within voice shopping anywhere else.”
In the blog, Lore said that buyer will be enabled to use the new feature to get discounted orders in-store or purchase fresh products. But how much of a success this move will turn out to be, remains to be seen. While both Google Home and Amazon Alexa are popular, especially in the US, they are mostly used to go simple things like calling and searching. Reports have suggested that not many people are using Alexa to order from Amazon. This has also forced Amazon to offer more deals around this feature. In the report by eMarketer, Victoria Petrock, an analyst, said that the voice shopping feature is still in an early stage and people are wary of it because of several reasons, including cost, privacy and the apprehension that they may be spied upon.
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