Walmart’s recent US partnership with Google Home is a sign of things to come in the retail space, with brands hoping that voice assistants can bring about more seamless and convenient forms of shopping.
For Walmart, however, one challenge will be to show how its Google Home link-up can compete with Amazon’s Echo/Alexa. As today’s Chart shows, Weekly Walmart Shoppers are prompted to purchase online by free delivery, offers, reviews and convenience. With Prime offering a robust review system, a favorable returns policy, plentiful benefits to regular customers and free next-day delivery to Prime members, the appeal of Amazon’s service is clear, especially as a subscription to Prime is available at a discount for Echo users.
Outside of the US, however, Amazon will face a real challenge from Alibaba’s impressive online commerce – and digital payments – ecosystems. Alibaba has its own (much cheaper) smart home assistant to build out its services, and could become a more prominent name as the company looks to extend its presence outside of China.