Who will win the online grocery shopping market share? Google and Walmart team up to take on Amazon

Who will win the online grocery shopping market share? Google and Walmart team up to take on Amazon

Friday, September 1, 2017Lauren Macdonald

By now you’ve probably heard that Walmart and Google have joined forces in hopes of taking on Amazon. Their mission? To beat Amazon (who recently acquired Whole Foods) in their quest to take over the market share of online grocery sales. By joining together, Walmart products will now be available for sale through Google Express, Google Home, and Google Assistant.

So, will Google and Walmart be a good partnership? Let’s break this down…

Walmart’s Strengths:

  • Everyday low prices.
  • Discounts for pick-up in store.
  • Free 2-day shipping for everyone.
  • Already a strong grocery retailer and well poised to increase its share in the online grocery market.

Google’s Strengths:

  • Expertise in natural language processing and artificial intelligence.
  • The ability to combat Amazon’s Alexa and Amazon Echo when it comes to voice-activated shopping experiences delivered via Google Assistant or Google Home.

All this to say that by joining forces, Google and Walmart mutually benefit because Walmart will integrate its products with Google Express, through which customers will be able to place voice orders and get personalized recommendations based on past orders.

Essentially, Google gains a retail behemoth to its Google Express service, and Walmart gains a foothold into the voice-enabled future of eCommerce.

But will Google and Walmart really be able to take on Amazon?

Quite frankly, it’s difficult to say. For most consumers, Amazon remains the primary option for online shopping. However, Google and Walmart have said that their partnership is less about how online shopping is done today, but more about where it’s going in the future.

Without Walmart, Google would have difficulty taking on Amazon in terms of voice-enabled shopping, and here’s why:

Amazon understands your purchase history, which can help a lot with getting your voice order right on the first try. If you think about it, voice-enabled ordering is only beneficial to the customer if it is efficient and easy. If you want to order lightbulbs, for example, you’ll need to specify what kind of lightbulbs, what brand, what size, how many watts, etc. Answering all of these questions via voice-command could be time consuming.

Where Amazon has had a leg up on Google (until now), is that they can use your purchase history data to make ordering lightbulbs, for instance, much more quick and efficient. That is, until Google teamed up with Walmart and will now gain 2 crucial things:

  1. Walmart’s “Easy Reorder” feature that lets customers pick-up their go-to groceries with one click (or in this case, one breath).
  2. ​Data. If a Walmart customer links an account with Google Express, Google will gain access to their purchase history data and can make recommendations to consumers based on past orders.

With Walmart involved, Google is empowered to be much smarter and maybe stand a fighting chance at taking on Amazon. It’s also important to remember that Google Assistant lives not just in Google Home, but in millions of Android Smartphones as well. This means, unlike Alexa, it can pull information from every part of your day, potentially providing a more attractive shopping experience. When your Alexa-powered device is at home on the shelf while you’re out, Google Assistant on your Android device is on your person and packed with shopping potential.

To summarize, Google has always been known for being ‘smart’. And now, with the help of Walmart, it will have more capabilities to go after Amazon in the fight for a higher percentage of the online grocery shopping market share.

“We’d love to find a way for you to build your shopping needs, and we can not only remind you what you might need, and what you might want to add to that list, but also remind you that it’s Thursday, you’ve got 25 items on your list, that’s more than enough to be over the free pickup threshold. You’re five minutes off of a Walmart on your drive home. How about we have it ready for you by six o’clock?” a Google spokesperson says.

Sounds like online grocery shopping is on the brink of taking off, folks!

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