Companies the world over have been unsuccessful in their attempts to successfully rival Amazon when it comes to online shopping. It looks as if Walmart is trying to have another go at it by using Google’s AI shopping assistant. Whether or not this will be a successful venture remains to be determined. It is an interesting partnership for both Google and Walmart, even though dethroning Amazon will not be an easy feat by any means.
Fighting Amazon with AI is a Last Resort
Past approaches to challenging Amazon have proven vastly unsuccessful. Those efforts cost a lot of money and have not yielded any major results. Amazon seemingly operates on very thin margins, and no other company is willing to compete at this rate. If it does not make economic sense, there is no reason to even give it a try. Walmart is not giving up without a fight, though. In fact, it has come up with a solution that may have turned the tide in the battle.
By using the Google Express delivery service, Walmart hopes to provide a competitive shopping experience capable of rivaling Amazon. This AI-based service has been in use by other major companies including Costco and Target already. Being able to buy items with a voice command is quite similar to how Amazon’s Alexa works right now. Deliveries will be made to one’s home, which is a nice touch.
There is no additional charge for having items delivered to one’s doorstep. Walmart is on the same page as Amazon, and the site should have same-day delivery available as well for some goods. Although there is a minimum purchase requirement, there is no membership program similar to Amazon Prime. This certainly puts Walmart up in the convenience department, although there is seemingly nobody in the U.S. who does not have an Amazon Prime account.
There is also an option to have a more personalized shopping experience through linking one’s Walmart account with Google. Once a person has done so, the AI assistant can remind them which items they purchased last time and in what quantity. Alexa offers a similar functionality and Amazon has its “subscription” service in place for particular products as well. That being said, Walmart’s new venture has some nice features that could easily turn it into a worthwhile rival for Amazon over time.
This new service will not be available for a few more weeks. Interested parties can sign up for notifications regarding the launch date. Right now, the release is tentatively scheduled for late September, but the timeline could change before then. It is still a pretty competitive service, assuming everything works as planned. Only time will tell what the future will hold for Walmart and its new service.
All of this shows we can expect more artificial intelligence-based solutions in the e-commerce industry moving forward. Walmart is one of the first major players to have embraced the technology in such a manner. If this service can effectively provide the level of convenience users expect, Amazon will have a major competitor on its hands for sure. The bigger question is which company will launch an AI-driven shopping service next. There are still many opportunities waiting to be explored.