Walmart and Google signed a deal recently to partner up against Amazon (sort of). Amazon is obviously the big elephant in the room when everyone is sitting in Walmart’s board meetings but this partnership with Google is one of the steps Google and Walmart are both trying to box Amazon out of the way.
Let’s start with the concept:
Amazon bought Whole Foods in order to expand their grocery business in the US. Amazon already stocks over 450 million products on their digital shelf and they wanted to get into the sacred local grocery store business so they can service anyone anywhere.
One of the digital products that Amazon makes is their virtual assistant products with the goal of making it easy to order. The term is ‘Voice-enabled purchases’.
For instance, my wife and I would be in bed at 11PM realizing that we ran out of milk and cereal for the kids for breakfast, and I’m not about to put my shoes on and go to a local store (in my pajamas) to buy them. So now, we use Amazon Fresh and we have a delivery of milk and cereal on our front door by 8AM. Pretty cool and very convenient.
If we were using the Amazon Echo, we would (theoretically) say “Please order milk and cheerios for delivery by tomorrow morning” and it would be done. This might be too close for comfort to let Amazon so much into my daily life.
Now, Google wants to capture every aspect of our life. They already capture 80%+ of search traffic, they track almost 90% of website usage on Google Analytics, and Android enabled phones track where we go, what we browse and how we interact with others digitally. So Google wants to take our grocery list that’s on our phones and service us by having them delivered, instead of going to Amazon. Not so far-fetched.
Walmart NEEDS to figure out how to kick Amazon to the curb, so their partnership with Google has almost no downside. Walmart isn’t interested (at least now) in being our virtual assistant but it is interested in keeping us engaged with them.
So who’s going to win? Your guess is as good as mine. Time will tell but this ‘battle’ is exactly that, a battle and part of a bigger war in which Amazon is by far leading.
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