With an eye on Amazon, Google and Walmart announced a partnership on Wednesday.
The partnership will let customers to link their accounts to Google, allowing Google to learn shopping behavior and better predict what the customer might want in the future. Google says that 20 percent of searches conducted on smartphones are done by voice and that voice-based shopping is not far behind.
Walmart says hundreds of thousands of items will be available for voice shopping via Google Assistant.
“One of the primary use cases for voice shopping will be the ability to build a basket of previously purchased everyday essentials,” Marc Lore, Walmart’s president and CEO said in a blog post. “That’s why we decided to deeply integrate our Easy Reorder feature into Google Express.”
Walmart says this is just the beginning and that it will leverage 4,700 United States stores and a fulfillment network to create customer experiences that done currently exist within voice shopping. Among those experiences, the company says, is the ability to use voice shopping to purchase fresh groceries across the country.
The announcement came on the same day Whole Foods shareholders approved Amazon’s acquisition of the natural foods giant. Walmart has gone head-to-head with Amazon for customers as the brick-and-mortar retail giant tries to keep up with the world’s largest online presence.
The partnership with Google means Walmart will be going head-to-head online with retailers like Target and Costco, which already have products on Google Express.
“We know this means being comparted side-by-side with other retailers, and we think that’s the way it should be,” Lore says. “An open and transparent shopping universe is good for customers.”