Google and Walmart introduce new Products and Partnerships. Google has introduced new products and partnerships over the past few years to make it easier for online buyers to find and buy what they are looking for directly from Google. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is one of the initial partners for Google Express services and Google Shopping Actions. But the big box retailer recently pulled both products.
Google and Walmart introduce new Products and Partnerships.
This step tells of Walmart’s ambitions and success in growing e-commerce, and how valuable (or not so valuable) Walmart sees Google as a partner.
Why is Walmart dropping Google?
Walmart removed itself from Google Express earlier this month, the first Google service released by retailers. Google Express offers fast shipping from a number of local stores; packages usually appear in one or two days.
Walmart is increasingly focused on fulfilling the order itself from its own shop. It uses various shipping methods to quickly get goods to the customer’s doorstep. This is slowly expanding the number of items that qualify for two-day shipments from its website because it looks to compete with Amazon Prime.
Fast Express Google Express does not provide any additional benefits to Walmart customers. In addition, it weakens Walmart customer relations. A shopper who uses Google Express to buy items from Walmart may not have the same attachment to Walmart when someone shop directly with a retailer. On the other hand, Walmart can capture more data about buyers using their website rather than Google Express and use that data to improve the online shopping experience from time to time.
The Shopping Act, the second service removed from Walmart, was created on Google Express. It makes retailer inventory easy to appear in Google’s voice assistant, allowing users to check using “universal trains” that combine items from multiple retailers, and integrate shopper loyalty programs into the checkout process. In the end, this is an advertising product where Google saves part of each sale. Again, Walmart is likely to retract to take greater control of its e-commerce operations.
That said, Walmart’s decision also showed that the benefits did not move many needles for Walmart. Google’s voice assistant competes with Alexa from Amazon. While smart speakers and voice assistants can be useful for researching products, very few people actually make purchases that way.
This step might also indicate that Google’s efforts in e-commerce have not produced results with more product searches. Losing Walmart’s business certainly won’t help in that.