In an escalation of its online shopping battles with Amazon.com, Google has partnered with Walmart to deliver goods to their shared customers.
“Shopping isn’t always as easy as it should be,” Google senior vice president Sridhar Ramaswamy says. “When was the last time you needed to pick up something from the store but didn’t have the time to make the trip? Or you went to the store only to realize they didn’t have the brand you wanted? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get what you want, however you want, from the stores where you already shop?”
Google has partnered with Walmart to make hundreds of thousands of items available for purchase by voice via Google Assistant. This markets the first time that Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer, has made its products available online in the United States outside of its own website.
The search giant had previously partnered with Costco, Target, and other retailers to bring those shopping experiences to Google Assistant. But Walmart now offers the largest number of items currently offered by any retailer through the Google Express platform.
Google Express is Google’s Amazon.com competitor. It lets you shop from a variety of retail stores from a single location using Google Assistant (voice), or the Google Express website or mobile app. The service is available across the continental United States (so not Alaska or Hawaii). And it now provides free shipping on all orders over a per-store minimum amount (usually $25 to $35). Delivery times generally range from same-day to three days, depending on your location and availability.
Existing Walmart customers who wish to join Google Express will need to link their Walmart accounts to Google. This will enable personalized shopping results and let you order more easily by voice; if you order “Gatorade,” Google notes, your Google Assistant will know which size and type you previously ordered and get the right one.