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Walmart introduces Google Assistant voice tech ordering

US grocer Walmart has launched a voice-enabled technology ordering service with Google Assistant.

Customers with a Google Assistant capability either on their phone, smartwatch or on a device in their home can now say ”Hey Google, talk to Walmart” to start speaking their grocery requirements and adding items to their Walmart.com shopping cart.

The retailer says the machine learning element of the system should mean the more people use the service, the better it will get at serving them – as it will remember regular purchases and shopping behaviour.

For example, if a customer says “add milk to my cart,” Walmart said it make sure to add the specific milk the customer buys regularly unless otherwise advised.

Tom Ward, senior vice president for digital operations at Walmart US, said: “We know when using voice technology, customers like to add items to their cart one at a time over a few days – not complete their shopping for the week all at once. So, this capability aligns with the way customers shop.

“It’s cross-platform, which means customers can use any device utilising Google Assistant, and allows for items to go directly to a customer’s shopping cart, making this capability one of a kind. We’re kicking off the work with Google, adding others to the mix as time goes on.”

Retailers in the UK to have already launched similar voice tech-enabled ordering capability with Google Assistant include Argos, Asos, Tesco, and Walmart-owned Asda.

Walmart said the service will roll out to a growing number of customers in the US over the coming weeks and months.

Meyar Sheik, president & chief commerce officer at cloud commerce solutions provider Kibo, said: “As voice continues to stake its ground as an important shopping channel, retailers will have to ensure that this channel offers relevance and quickly helps the shopper arrive at the product they are in search of as seamlessly as saying the command.”

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