Walmart is stepping up its partnership with Google and offering up to a $25 in Google Express shopping credit for consumers that purchase the $49 Google Home Mini or $129 Google Home. However, you must first purchase the device at full price and then you get a promo code after you set up your new device.
Why the Walmart Discount on Google Home Matters
Discounting may seem obvious or unimportant, but it has been a critical tactic used by Amazon to rapidly grow its user base in the face of competition from Google. The $49.99 Echo Dot has ranged from $35 – $50 since its launch in September 2017. The Echo Dot clone Eufy has shown up as low at $29.99. When Google was only offering the $129 Google Home, it opened Amazon up to a much larger potential user base in the sub-$50 category. The introduction of Google Home Mini and its sub-$50 price point finally brought Google to parity with a value segment product offering. Discounting with the promo code makes it among the most attractively priced entry-level smart speakers on the market today. This is a critical lever in capturing smart speaker market share.
The other key aspect is that to receive the full discount value, a user must order through Google Express from Walmart. Google Express is Google’s online shopping alternative to Amazon Prime. It is important for both companies to induce trial of the service. Amazon shopping is already a habit for many consumers while Google Express is not. So, Google and Walmart must build awareness of Google Express and motivate consumer trial as a starting point to forming a new habit. Walmart is currently the fourth largest online retailer in the U.S and its partnership with Google could be a critical asset in growing that position and also having a foothold in voice commerce from the start.
The Discounting Wars Begin
What is not clear is who is actually footing the bill for the $25 shopping credit. It may be Walmart, but it looks like Google is offering the discount. The company may be using it to bolster sales of Google Home smart speakers while simultaneously increasing Google Express volume through its biggest commerce partner Walmart. You should expect to see more of this as the Holiday shopping season gets into high gear.