Walmart (WMT) and Google (GOOG) enter voice buying market to challenge Amazon – Quartz
Walmart and Google have joined forces to fight Amazon for shopping with the sound of your voice.
In a blog post published today, Marc Lore, CEO of Jet.com, the e-commerce company acquired by Walmart in September 2016, said that users will be able to purchase Walmart products through Google’s voice assistant from end of September. The collaboration challenges Amazon’s current dominance in the market for shopping with voice-activated devices. Amazon’s Echo devices currently account for 70.6% of the voice-activated device market, while Google Home captures 23.8%, according to 2017 data from research firm eMarketer.
Using a voice device to make purchases is a growing category of e-commerce. Currently, Amazon captures 43% of all online sales revenue and 53% of online sales growth, according to a February 2017 analysis from Slice Intelligence. Walmart is likely to be hoping its deal with Google will help it catch up; In last week’s earnings call, the company reported 60% growth in online sales in its second quarter, following 63% growth in the first quarter.
The partnership will allow Walmart to leverage Google’s personalization expertise. “One of the primary use cases for voice shopping will be the ability to create a basket of everyday essentials that have already been purchased,” Lore wrote. With the integration of Walmart’s Easy Reorder feature into Google Express, the retail giant will be able to “provide highly personalized purchase recommendations based on past customer purchases.”
Next year, Walmart plans to expand its voice shopping experiences to its stores and distribution network in the United States, whether it’s for in-store pickup or grocery shopping.
“We know that [update] means being compared side by side with other retailers, ”Lore wrote in a not-so-subtle tip to Amazon. “We think this is how it should be.”