Get ready for some technology-driven grocery chain jousting. Google and Walmart have joined forces on voice-based shopping. The news comes on the heels of aggressive price cuts at Amazon-owned Whole Foods. It's not the first time Walmart has partnered with Google. In 2017, the companies (which, fun fact, have a combined market cap of more than $1 trillion) teamed up to bring voice-based shopping to Google Home Services.
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Walmart customers once again will be able to voice-order their groceries with Google Assistant, another bid by the brick-and-mortar store to compete with Amazon. The retailer announced the partnership on Tuesday, and said it would gradually roll out the feature in the next few weeks. The development comes after Walmart unceremoniously left Google Express, Google's online shopping tool, back in January, reportedly to develop its own Google Assistant shopping feature. Walmart shoppers will soon be able to add items to their shopping carts by saying "Hey Google, talk to Walmart." The feature will be cross-platform, meaning customers can shop from any device that has the Google Assistant feature, ranging from smart speakers and displays to their Android watch or iPhone.
It's OK, we can admit it. Between Amazon Prime, Postmates, Grubhub, Uber Eats, on-campus "snackbots," and all the self-driving grocery delivery vans bringing us pizza, Walmart orders, and more, you rarely have to go to the store. But an autonomous vehicle company is taking our extreme laziness one step further: bringing the grocery store to our door. Instead of ordering some carrots, eggs, and almond milk from an app, the San Francisco startup Robomart is bringing Stop & Shop groceries to Boston-area customers. You summon the self-driving vehicle and a selection of grocery items are brought to you.
By using your voice on a Google Home smart speaker, Walmart customers can order items for 2-day shipping, for free, for orders $35 and over. Like many Americans trying to juggle a personal and professional life, you've probably come to this realization: your time could be better spent than shopping for groceries every week. Several grocery services, from start-ups to retail giants, have sprung up to meet this demand. But there are big differences in terms of cost, availability and selection. Choosing between the services stands to get even more complicated as Amazon integrates Whole Foods--earlier this month, it said it would start free, two-hour delivery for its Prime members from Whole Foods in four test cities.