Last month, Walmart and Google announced a partnership which would allow Google Home users to order from the retail giant using their Google Home via Google Express. Today, the new voice shopping feature is now live on Google Home. I tested it out, and I’d have to say, it is quite easy. All you have to do is activate the payment feature through your Google Home app and provide your billing and shipping information. Then you are ready to shop until you drop.
The user experience is pretty seamless. I asked “Ok Google, order paper towels from Walmart.” Google assistant provided me with my first option and asked if I would like to add it to my cart. She then asked if I would like to order and provided the final total, including shipping. She then reminded me that I could receive free shipping if my total reached $35, just like how you would receive a notification when shopping online. When I said “No thanks” she said the provided me with another option. Once I told her “No” again, she then asked if I would like to add paper towels to my shopping cart – just in case.
Reducing Friction to Purchase
I initially thought it would be a little clunky to order items from Google Home, but the user experience is well thought out. Google Assistant provided me multiple options, reminded me of the shipping promotion and saved my search to my list. This is essentially the same experience I would have had on Walmart.com except with less friction. It saved me the time of having to go on the retailer’s site, typing in my search, and clicking through the options. In less than 15 seconds, I could have had paper towels on their way to my front door.
The Growth of Voice Shopping
It’s easy to see why voice shopping is growing amongst consumers. A new consumer report from Walker Sands found that 24% of frequent online holiday shoppers said they “often or always purchase through voice-controlled devices like Amazon Echo.” It also seems that voice shopping is on the rise. In the same study, 44% of respondents “say they are somewhat or very likely to make a product purchase through a voice controlled device in the next year.”
The convenience voice shopping provides makes it attractive to consumers, which is why Google and Walmart were not about to let Amazon have the market all to itself. Especially with Amazon now going after Walmart’s grocery business with its recent acquisition of Whole Foods. With Walmart and Google’s new partnership, the stakes of which smart speaker consumers buy have never been higher. Because now, which smart speaker a consumer owns can now dictate where a consumer shops by voice. It is no longer just the revenue from the device that can be lost, but rather the revenue that can be lost after the initial device purchase.