Retail magnate Walmart is teaming up with search cyber giants Google to take on Amazon.com.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Walmart announced a voice-shopping partnership with search engine Google. The pair, aiming to compete with Amazon's Alexa, will facilitate hundreds of thousands of items being available for voice activated shopping via Google Assistant in late September.
"It makes sense for us to team up with Google. They’ve made significant investments in natural language processing and artificial intelligence to deliver a powerful voice shopping experience," the post explained.
Though Google Home currently offers customers voice-shopping options to the retailer's rivals – Costco Wholesale and Target – Walmart will offer the largest assortment of any Google Assistant seller.
The company is also launching on Google Express, a fast-delivery online shopping app and site, next month. Customers will be able to link their account to Google and get personalized suggestions based on prior online and in-store orders to speed things up.
The company will also integrate an "Easy Reorder" feature into Google Express – creating reusable shopping lists. Last week Walmart U.S. e-commerce CEO Marc Lore told reporters that the company is already seeing "nice repeat" business from the feature.
Additionally, Google announced it will be eliminating membership fee and shipping is free as long as a customer hits a given retailer's minimum threshold order, $35 in Walmart's case.
The food chain currently offers its customers online grocery order pickup and a discount for in-store pick up of digital orders.
Last week, Wal-Mart Stores, Walmart's parent company, reported digital sales rose by 60 percent in the second quarter resulting from the expansion of its third-party seller marketplace.
According to Bloomberg, Wal-Mart Stores has applied for a patent for a blimp-styled "floating warehouse" drone that could make deliveries directly to shoppers’ homes.
The device, which would be manned remotely, would fly at heights between 500 ft. and 1,000 ft. and be outfitted with multiple launching bays.
The report revealed that Wal-Mart rival Amazon was granted a patent for a similar type of device last April.
The food chain has forged another digital partnership, joining a blockchain – which would record the movement of individual or groups of food products.
A bitcoin blockchain is used to track and record every thing that happens to a bitcoin token and add it to a permanent database.
This database would make it easier to identify information stored on specific batches of particular products and prevent major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses through the digital tags.
"Blockchain technology enables a new era of end-to-end transparency in the global food system," Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart, said in a statement, adding that "It also allows all participants to share information rapidly and with confidence across a strong trusted network."