Google and Walmart team up to take on a common enemy: Amazon

Google and Walmart Partner With Eye on Amazon

It sees hundreds of thousands of Walmart products available to purchase using your voice and a Google Home gadget or Google Assistant.

Walmart said the partnered service will officially start in late September. With this link-up between the two companies, Google gains access to Walmart order histories and customer data.

Google and Walmart are teaming up to take on Amazon (and Alexa) with voice-activated commerce and more plans for 2018.

This will enable us to deliver highly personalised shopping recommendations based on customers' previous purchases, including those made in Walmart stores and on Walmart.com.

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"They've made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience", Lore wrote in the company blog.

"We've got the purchase history of 140 million Americans going into brick and mortar stores", said Marc Lore, head of USA e-commerce for Wal-Mart who joined through the retailer's 2016 acquisition of his Jet.com startup. Those buying items from Wal-Mart (or other partners including Costco and Target) will get free shipping, as long as they meet the minimum spending requirements established by each store.

Google first introduced voice shopping through Google Home earlier this year as part of its effort to compete against Amazon's Alexa voice assistant on its Echo speakers.

Walmart announced Monday that it's expanding its grocery delivery service with ride-hailing service Uber, and it's been testing same-day delivery service with Deliv at Sam's Club in Miami.

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All of this points to Google making moves to ramp up integration of its Google Assistant AI with big shopping chains, taking aim at Amazon's own AI-based shopping service.

The partnership makes plenty of sense given that Google doesn't really have an Amazon-like online store, but it does have an Alexa competitor. In January, Walmart received about half of the online visitors as Amazon and came even closer if the company's other online properties are factored into the equation.

Mr Lore said the plans would be rolled out further next year, with Walmart using its 4,700 United States stores to "create customer experiences that don't now exist within voice shopping anywhere else".

Wal-Mart customers can soon link their Wal-Mart accounts directly to Google Express, Google's online marketplace. Further, Walmart's Easy Reorder feature, which launched last month, allows shoppers to quickly add goods they've purchased before-either online or in store-to their lists.

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