NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is diving into voice-activated shopping. But unlike online leader Amazon, it’s not doing it alone.
The world’s largest retailer said Wednesday it’s working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of items from laundry detergent to Legos for voice shopping through Google Assistant. The capability will be available in late September.
It’s Google’s biggest retail partnership as it tries to broaden the reach of its voice-powered assistant Home speaker, and it underscores Walmart’s drive to compete in an area dominated by Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo device.
Walmart is working hard to close the gulf online between itself and Amazon. But it’s had to look beyond itself and form partnerships with other companies. Amazon generally has been building its network of services on its own, using its $99-a-year Prime membership to develop loyalty.