Walmart is really a one-stop shop for most consumers. However, no matter they do, they haven’t been able to truly turn their status as the world’s largest retailer into online domination the way Amazon has. That might soon change as Walmart is set to partner with Google in order to expand its online reach.
In a first, Walmart products will be available on Google Express, the company’s online retail arm that already has partnerships with stores like CostCo, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and PetSmart. It comes at a time when Amazon has began to move into the brick-and-mortar business itself. Moreover:
But working together does not ensure that they will be any more successful. For most consumers, Amazon remains the primary option for online shopping. No other retailer can match the size of Amazon’s inventory, the efficiency with which it moves shoppers from browsing to buying, or its many home delivery options.
However, the two companies are looking at the future as much as an opportunity to bite into Amazon’s marketshare. Customers will be able to use Google Home, the company’s voice-operated speaker/digital assistant, in order to re-order items from Walmart — Google cites a rise in voice-based smartphone searches that is paving the way to voice-based shopping. Further, if customers link their accounts, Google will be able to learn about their purchasing trends and anticipate when to re-order products.
Walmart hasn’t caught up to Amazon entirely, but their online retail side has grown. In January, the company began offering free two-day shipping on certain items to compete with Amazon’s Prime service. Walmart’s also ramped up its in-store pick-up service by offering discounts to customers who use it. In January, Walmart received about half of the online visitors as Amazon and came even closer if the company’s other online properties are factored into the equation.
“I am not saying Walmart is ever going to catch Amazon online,” said Craig Johnson, the president of a retail research and consulting firm told the Times. “But instead of being embarrassed by Amazon, it can be a strong No. 2.”
(Via New York Times)