Google Home
Users will soon be able to order items from Walmart using voice command son Google Home. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Google has announced that it’s partnering with retailer Walmart for its Google Home smart speaker. Soon, Google Home users will be able to shop online with voice commands using Google Assistant.

“When it comes to voice shopping, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers. That’s why it makes sense for us to team up with Google,” Walmart said in a blog post. “They’ve made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience. We know this means being compared side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be.”

Walmart customers will be able to link their Walmart account with Google. Google

Starting in late September, Walmart’s hundreds of thousands of items will be available for voice shopping through Google Assistant. Existing Walmart customers will simply have to link their Walmart account to Google to receive personalized shopping results based on previous online and in-store Walmart purchases.

This means that Google Assistant will be able to remind users of their past purchases. For example, if a user orders detergent, Google Assistant will remind them of the brand that they’ve previously purchased. This is made possible with Walmart integrating its Easy Reorder feature from its mobile app and its website.

Voice shopping with Google Assistant will work with the Google Home smart speaker and on the Google Express website and app. Speaking of Google Express, Walmart is also joining the delivery service which already includes the likes of Target and Costco.

Google also announced that it’s getting rid of its $95 annual membership fee ($10 monthly) for Express. Now, users will be able to get deliveries for free as long as their orders are above the store’s minimum order requirement. For Walmart, that minimum is $35, as pointed out by Android Central.

“There’s no membership required so no matter how you shop—through voice with your Google Assistant or on the website or mobile app—you’ll get free delivery within one to three days,” Google said on its blog. “We’re just getting started, and there will be lots more exciting experiences to come, so stay tuned.”

Next year, Google and Walmart’s partnership is also confirmed to add support for making grocery orders through Google Home for in-store pickup or for delivery. Walmart says that it will leverage its 4,700 U.S. stores in order to make this possible.

Google first introduced voice shopping through Google Home earlier this year as part of its effort to compete against Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant on its Echo speakers. With the addition of Walmart and waving its Google Express membership fee, Google is expanding its voice shopping offering and further setting itself up as a formidable e-commerce platform.

Recode pointed out that Walmart is the only retailer in the United States that comes very close to matching Amazon’s product catalogue. Amazon is currently leading the new voice shopping e-commerce platform, as its retail business is already deeply integrated with its Alexa voice assistant.