Walmart taps Google’s smart-home assistant for customers

Walmart has tapped Google to assist its shopping customers to order groceries with voice commands through Google’s smart-home assistant.
Google’s smart-home assistant at CES 2019Starting this month, shoppers at Walmart’s retail shops will be to add items directly to their Walmart Grocery cart using Google Assistant by saying “Hey Google, talk to Walmart.”

Walmart hinted in a blog post published early Tuesday that voice shopping may be available with other partners in the future.

“We’re kicking off the work with Google, adding others to the mix as time goes on,” said Walmart U.S. senior vice president Tom Ward in the statement.

The voice commands work on any device with Google Assistant, including Google’s Home Hub, Android phones and iPhones.

Walmart’s announcement ramps up the competition with Amazon, which offers grocery shopping through its Alexa voice assistant.

Amazon currently dominates the U.S. smart speaker market, capturing 67 percent of market share in 2018 according to research firm eMarketer.

The global market for smart home devices is expected to grow 26.9 percent year over year in 2019 to 832.7 million shipments, according to IDC.

2018 was about getting products into consumers’ homes. Both Amazon and Google excelled at this through low-costs mart speakers and multiple bundles across device categories, says Jitesh Ubrani research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.

Smart home market will be dominated by two companies, Amazon and Google. Apple is also expected to gain traction in the coming years. The existing popularity of iOS and macOS devices combined with the availability of Apple apps / services on non-Apple products will help the company slowly entice more consumers.

Samsung’ is worth watching as its products extend into every category and the company The worldwide smart speaker market size will be 144.3 million in terms of shipments in 2019 and 240 million in 2023, according to IDC.

Walmart and Amazon are competing heavily in the grocery space. Whole Foods announced it will slash prices on hundreds of items, offering special discounts to Amazon Prime members. Amazon acquired Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion in 2017.

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