Walmart Inc. will now let customers order groceries by voice through Google’s smart-home assistant, an attempt to counter Amazon.com Inc.’s growing clout in e-commerce. Beginning this month, Walmart shoppers can add items directly to their online shopping carts by saying “Hey Google, talk to Walmart.” Information from prior purchases will help identify the correct brand and size — like whether you drink 1 percent or skim milk without having to specify.
The voice-shopping service comes out of a partnership between the two companies that began in August 2017, one of several alliances Walmart has made in recent years with technology companies. The Walmart-Google pairing hasn’t had much to talk about since then, especially after Walmart withdrew from Google’s shopping platform earlier this year.
Both Amazon and Google face the challenge of convincing consumers to order by voice, which is tricky for perishable items like fish etc. Only 4 percent of shoppers use voice assistants for grocery planning. Those who are interested in voice-based grocery shopping already have other options through Google.