Walmart Enlists Google to Power Voice-Driven Grocery Shopping

Walmart announced on Tuesday a new partnership with Google that will allow its customers to order groceries via the latter’s Assistant-enabled devices, including the search giant’s smartphones and various Google Home devices.

Through the partnership, Walmart regulars can gradually add items to a shopping list as they remember them. The added efficiency of the process hinges on Assistant’s ability to remember a customer’s past order and preferences, meaning a request for “eggs” will add the exact egg product previously purchased by the customer to his or her current shopping list.

The move comes on the heels of news that Amazon would further slash prices at Whole Foods, a Walmart competitor that benefits from its parent company’s technological infrastructure. Amazon has also laid the foundation for customers to order via voice, taking advantage of its first-party voice devices powered by Alexa.

Partnerships between retailers and tech platforms will provide increasingly important benefits for local discovery as voice becomes a more established search channel. In the age of voice-driven local search, consumers looking for products and services will become accustomed to having only one option surfaced (as Assistant is unlikely to rattle off five choices), which means being a consumer’s first option will be paramount for brick-and-mortars.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Follow him on Twitter @joe_zappa, and shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.

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