Target has been testing the Google Express service in California and New York City for a while now, and today it announced that everyone in the contiguous US can now order its products through the service. Sorry, Alaska and Hawaii.
Not only does this mean you can get Target products through the Google Express website on your smartphone, but you’ll also be able to ask your Google Home device for a product and it’ll provide some results from Target. For now, though, Target is limiting those products to dry goods rather than perishable produce.
Walmart already beat Target to the punch, as "more than 2 million" of its products became available through Google Express in August. Similar services are offered by retailers Petsmart, Kohl’s, and Costco.
The move is clearly an attempt to thwart Amazon in the realm of voice-activated shopping before it’s too late. Voice-command shopping through smart speakers like the Amazon Echo still hasn’t caught on in a big way, but that may change as the technology grows more precise.
Naturally, Amazon is already at an advantage because it not only provides the speaker technology, but it also has the products and the warehouses to fulfill the orders itself. To compete both through its Google Express website and on Google Home, Google needs to partner with retailers like Target and Walmart for mutual benefit.
You currently can’t tie your Target account to Google Express, but Target says that will be an option in 2018. It’s worth looking forward to, as it means you’ll be able to take advantage of Target REDcard perks like 5% off all orders, free shipping, and, eventually, an option to pick up items you ordered through Google Assistant at a physical Target store within two hours of ordering.
Walmart already allows customers to merge their accounts with Google Express.
Currently you’ll only be able to use Google Assistant to order goods from Target if you own a Google Home device or an Android TV, but today Google also announced that it plans to extend the voice service to both iOS devices and Android phones "soon."
Image credit: Google
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