Daily Management Review

Wal-Mart to unite with Google's voice platform


Wal-Mart Stores joins with Google Alphabet to take its share in the nascent market of voice purchases, which is currently dominated by Amazon. This will be another side of the battle of Wal-Mart with the largest online store, writes Reuters.

Vintage Canadian Supermarkets and Discount Stores via flickr
Vintage Canadian Supermarkets and Discount Stores via flickr
Google, which creates the Android software used to run most smartphones in the world, will offer hundreds of thousands of Wal-Mart products on its Google Assistant voice platform from the end of September, wrote Wal-Mart's head of commerce Marc Lore on the blog.

Lore, who joined the world's largest retailer after he bought the commercial online company Jet.com, said that Wal-Mart will offer a wider choice than any retailer on this platform.

Amazon, whose voice-controlled assistant Alexa allows users to make purchases, has the lion's share of the US voice communications industry. Its Echo devices occupied 72.2% of the market in 2016, far outstripping the Google Home gadget, which took 22%, according to EMarketer research firm.

Amazon also dominated Wal-Mart with other familiar online retailers in online sales.

Wal-Mart began to actively position itself in this market, offering discounts to customers who buy online and pick up in the store, as well as free two-day delivery for purchases from $ 35 or more. The last step even forced Amazon, which rarely imitates competition, to lower its threshold for free shipping.

"One of the main cases of using voice purchase will be an ability to compose a basket of previously purchased everyday things," Lore said.

He added that Wal-Mart plans to increase the volume of voice purchases next year, which will involve about 4.7 thousand stores in the US, in order to "create customers' perception of the quality of service that currently does not exist in voice trading anywhere else."

According to him, customers can use the voice purchase to get a discount in the store or buy fresh products throughout the country.

But, while Amazon and Google's voice speakers are popular, people still mostly use them for basic tasks like phone calls or music playback.

source: reuters.com

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