Target has now become the latest company to join Google in its voice shopping efforts after Walmart hopped onboard late August, cementing the trio's intent to topple Amazon's reign in online shopping.
Target Cozies Up To Google To Compete With Amazon
This comes as the latest move for brick-and-mortar stores to take on Amazon's e-commerce dominance. Target and Walmart, two of the biggest U.S. retail chains, are doing so by working with Google to offer customers a nationwide delivery service for thousands of items from their stores.
It doesn't come as a surprise. For years, Google has been experimenting with small-scale shopping deliveries in a number of U.S. cities via Google Express. This nationwide push is nothing but a huge expansion of those earlier experiments.
This means Target shoppers will be able to do much of their shopping from the comfort of their own homes, ordering items via Google's Home smart speaker like owners of the Amazon Echo can do.
Google says shopping will become available later this year on mobile platforms such as Android and iOS via Google Assistant, joining Google Home and Android TV. In the near future, customers from Target and Walmart will be able order items from either of the retail stores from their phones too.
But besides voice shopping, Google and Target might have other exciting things planned as well. Mike McNamara, digital chief of Target, said both Google and Target are working to build experiences that "digitally replicate the joy of shopping a Target store to discover stylish and affordable products."
Voice Shopping And Augmented Reality?
Recode speculates that both companies are working on augmented reality experiences for shoppers. Imagine getting to try different clothes from Target and perhaps even laying out furniture to see how they'd look like right in a living room or bedroom.
"Be on the lookout for additional features that bring together the best of Google and Target in the coming year," said Google in a blog post.
Later, customers will be able to add their REDcard to Google Express and receive 5 percent off most Target items, including free shipping. Customers will also be able to receive personalized recommendations based on their purchase history, and they'll be able to quickly reorder items as well.
Google is aggressively marching toward Amazon's turf, that much is clear. In August, the company ditched the $95-per-year membership fee required by Google Express, a clear sign that it wants to lure in more customers with free deliveries, in addition to other benefits of the membership.