Will Costco, Kohl’s, Target, et al give Google Home an edge over Amazon’s Echo?
“Okay, Google. How do I shop?” Those simple words may signal Google beginning to eat into the early market share lead that Amazon.com has established with its voice-activated Echo devices.
Yesterday, Google announced in a blog post that owners of its Google Home voice-activated speaker would now be able to place product orders from more than 50 local and national retailers participating in its Express delivery program. Among the more prominent chains participating are Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco, Kohl’s, PetSmart, Target, Walgreens, Wayfair.com and Whole Foods. Moosejaw, which was just acquired by Walmart, is also among retailers in Google’s Express program, although its parent is not, nor are its sister companies — Jet.com, Sam’s Club and ShoeBuy.com.
When Google Home was introduced last October, it got high marks for its ability to provide answers from Google’s database as well as translations and directions. The 5.6-inch device, similarly to Echo, also offers streaming music while giving owners the ability to manage devices such as lights and thermostats in their homes.
Between now and April 30, Google is offering free membership in the Express program. Delivery is also free. Those joining Google Express have the option of paying an annual fee of $95 per year or $10 monthly. After April 30, members ordering from Costco, who do not have a membership card for the warehouse club chain, will pay 10 percent additional for items ordered from the retailer.
- Start shopping with the Google Assistant on Google Home – Google
- The stores on our site – Google
- Google goes up against Amazon with voice-shopping for goods at Costco, Whole Foods, Raley’s, Target, Walgreens – Silicon Beat
- Will Google’s new devices give Apple and Amazon some competition? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will adding Express services to its Home device help Google cut into Amazon’s lead in the voice-activated digital assistant market? How do you think voice services will affect how Americans compute and shop in the years to come?