Walmart, Google partnership goes live

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Google and Walmart go live with voice-activated orders.

Walmart's partnership with Google is officially live, offering customers the ability to purchase more than 2 million Walmart.com items through a personalized voice shopping experience.

Google also announced the Google Home Mini, a hands-free voice-controlled device. The device is currently being sold for $49. 

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Customers who buy Google Home or the Mini from Walmart will receive up to $25 off a Walmart order when they link their Walmart online account to Google Express. Also by linking accounts, consumers will receive personalized recommendations based on previous purchases made in-store or online at Walmart. 

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The partnership was first announced in August and went live on Oct. 4, with more than 2 million items on Walmart.com becoming available through voice. 

"Everyone should have access to a virtual assistant, especially when it can be a tool to help make shopping more convenient," said the Walmart blog post.

The partnership symbolizes a big step for Google, putting it in direct competition with Amazon and Apple to win over consumers in the Home space. 

"By partnering with Google, Walmart is embracing a critical journey for the customer experience—reaching them in their home, with frictionless interaction. This partnership emphasizes how important the Home is to both retailers. And for companies like Amazon, Google and Apple, to win the battle for intelligence assistance, it starts in the Home," Michael Levine, the vice president of marketing for Photon, told FierceRetail. 

Levine sees the partnership as a positive move for both Walmart and Google. For Walmart, the retailer has access to Google's technology plus their brand and household penetration. For Google Home, the platform's users are opened up to thousands of Walmart products. 

Now the industry will just have to wait and see if Walmart's traditionally cash customers will embrace the new technology.

"While it’s impossible to not take brand loyalty into consideration, this is a great step for Google to make its move towards upending Amazon’s dominance in the home-voice assistant market," Levine added.

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