The Google Assistant artificial intelligence (AI) companion and Google Express service now support shopping from Walmart, the Alphabet-owned company said on Wednesday. The team running Google's online shopping platform already announced that Walmart support is coming earlier this week, and the company now delivered on that promise, allowing users to easily order goods from the largest retail chain in the United States. According to the Mountain View, Califronia-based firm, its new partnership with Walmart encompasses "hundreds of thousands of products" that consumers are now able to purchase by simply telling their AI assistant to do so or by using the Google Express mobile app.
The wording of Google's announcement indicates that the vanilla version of the newly revealed service is only compatible with the Google Assistant running on the Google Home smart speaker and it's currently unclear whether and when will the Walmart integration become available on smartphones. Regardless, existing Walmart customers are able to link their Walmart accounts with their Google profiles in just a few taps within the Google Home mobile app, which will consequently allow them to have a personalized shopping experience spanning both search results and recommendations. The Google Assistant will remember your previous purchases and remind you of the types and sizes of products you bought when ordering them again, which Google hopes will make repeated purchases significantly easier to make. The Google Express support for Walmart's offerings will be officially rolled out in late September and if your order is above the store minimum, you'll be eligible for a free delivery within one to three days, Google said, adding how this offer now also extends to all other stores supported by its shopping service.
The announcement of the new partnership with Walmart is understood to be Google's latest attempt to compete with Amazon whose robust online retail network is currently one of the main selling points of Alexa-enabled devices like the firm's Echo lineup of smart speakers. Recent reports indicate that the Internet giant is also working on a smaller version of the Google Home which will presumably compete with the Echo Dot, with the device itself being expected to be unveiled in early October, simultaneously with the Pixel 2 smartphone series.