Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Google Express partners with Target, Assistant shopping coming to phones

Google Express partners with Target, Assistant shopping coming to phones

And lest Target's 1,816 USA stores be forgotten or foot traffic ignored, next year shoppers will be able to opt for in-store pickup of orders via Google Express.

In August, Walmart unveiled plans to rollout a similar voice-activated shopping via Google Express and Google Home tools for its 4,700 US stores and its fulfillment network "to create customer experiences that don't now exist within voice shopping anywhere else", including choosing to pick up an order in store (often for a discount) or using voice shopping to purchase fresh groceries across the country.

Besides, Google Assistant will soon be gaining functionality for online shopping, now shopping via Google Home and Assistant is only possible on Android TV. Amazon started offering Echo voice assistants in late 2014, while Google made its debut with Google Home earlier this year. With the newly formed partnership, Target is providing 2-day delivery on orders with free shipping on orders above $35. This past summer, for example, the Minneapolis discounter began expanding its next-day essentials delivery service that it was testing to the Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C./Baltimore areas. He believes that voice shopping will be more prevalent in the next few years. Google Express also has plans for offering 5% discount to users who shop with Target REDCard along with free shipping.

More devices are in the hands of shoppers. Shopping for some goods though can be more complex as it benefits the customer to actually see the product and compare it to others, as well as read specifications or item descriptions.

Shortly following the launch of Walmart, Google Express is now adding Target to its growing list of available stores. Even Apple has one coming out this year. So far Walmart is the largest retailer to offer its products on Google Express. Also in 2018, customers will be able to pick up orders in-store and link their accounts to Google for personalized offers.

Amazon doesn't give sales figures for Echo, but Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated that the Seattle company has sold more than 10 million Alexa-powered Echo devices in the USA since late 2014. But a store's omnichannel strategy has become more complex and competitive, so partnering with an enterprise-scale digital player becomes a necessity to provide more mobile-driven services such as on-demand merchandise delivery or mobile order and pay.

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