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Google and Walmart unveil e-commerce partnership

Google and Walmart unveil e-commerce partnership

Google initially introduced voice activated shopping to Google Home earlier this year, partnering with retailers such PetSmart, Walgreens and Costco in a bid to further compete with Amazon's Alexa's capabilities. Until now, Walmart's enormous inventory was available online only through the company's own website.

"From the end of September, we will work with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of articles that can be controlled by voice via Google Wizard", the wizard staff logged out of Google, wrote Marc Lore, the head of e-commerce at Wal-Mart, in a post published Wednesday on the blog of the group.

Google and Walmart have made an arrangement that will give customers a chance to buy Walmart items via the Google Home smart speaker. The approach appears to be paying off: Walmart reported a 60% jump in e-commerce sales last quarter compared to the same period previous year.

Now customers just have to place orders that amount to more than each store's minimum to get free delivery within one to three days.

Walmart and Google just teamed up to make a huge announcement that analysts say is an attempt to heat up Walmart's ongoing rivalry with Amazon when it comes to dominance in e-commerce. The pick-up discount is a nice touch for those wary of grocery delivery service and fees. All they'll need to do is link their Walmart accounts through Google Express, the company's online shopping mall, then shop using their voice - or their keyboard.

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While Google has the Assistant, Amazon has the popular voice speaker Alexa. Google Home users, be ready to call anyone you like and that too free of cost. The goal is to create a dam against competitor Amazon.

In the United States, it has the lion's share of the voice-controlled device industry, with its Echo devices accounting for 72% of the market in 2016, compared to the Google Home gadget's 22%, according to research from eMarketer. Whole Foods is now available on Google Express, but it seems unlikely that will continue to be the case for very long. This includes Walmart's "easy reorder" feature which helps you repurchase products that you buy regularly. Walmart has made several acquisitions in recent years to try to catch up, including the purchase of Jet.com last year for about $3 billion.

"We know this means being compared side by side with other retailers, and we think that's the way it should be", he said.

Wal-Mart Stores, the 800-pound gorilla of retail, is running hard to catch up in an increasingly crucial segment where it is neither the biggest nor the best: e-commerce.

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