As of September, Google’s commerce platform Google Express will count America’s largest retailer among its list of vendors.
Starting in September, customers will be able to place orders with Walmart at express.google.com, the Google Express app, or through Google Assistant-enabled devices like Google Home.
Walmart will instantly be the largest vendor on the platform when it joins.
The integration with Walmart goes deeper than any current retailers on the Express platform — Google’s head of commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy called the partnership “the first of its kind.”
Customers can link their Walmart and Google accounts, which allows buyers to access unique Walmart features, like being able to quickly reorder oft-bought items, even through Google Assistant voice software.
Telling a Google Assistant to “add paper towels” to your cart, for instance, will add your most-frequently purchased size and brand of paper towels. Customers will also be able to choose to pickup purchases in-store for a discount — another uniquely Walmart ability.
Walmart and Google hope the service creates a seamless experience for customers, with ease of ordering via voice using Google Assistant as the signature of the partnership.
The partnership puts Walmart further in competition with Amazon, which has its own similar service in Alexa. Alexa integrates voice control and speech recognition technology to enable customers to place orders via voice using the retailer’s Prime service in a similar way.
Google is also removing the $US95-a-year membership fee for Google Express, which previously enabled customers to get free two-day shipping at retailers. Now, each store on the platform will have its own threshold for free shipping. Walmart’s policy will mirror its own website, and each order of $US35 or more will receive free two-day shipping.
Walmart e-commerce CEO Marc Lore was optimistic about the future of shopping using voice, and said he hopes to integrate the platform with Walmart’s Fresh grocery platform next year.
There will be “certain specific use cases in shopping where voice will be the preferred means,” Lore told Business Insider. “You can imagine you’re driving home from work and ordering from groceries via voice and picking them up at your local Walmart on the way home.”
Get the latest Google stock price here.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.