Walmart Forays into Smart Speaker Market with Google to Get a Leg-Up

Multinational companies from two different domains came together to develop a product that eases customers’ shopping experience. Google, a tech-giant, and Walmart, a multinational retail corporation teamed up to provide voice-activated grocery shopping. Voice commands are available on any device with Google Assistant, such as Android phones, Google’s Home Hub, and iPhones. Owing to this partnership, Walmart shares closed slightly higher on Monday. And, Alphabet – Google’s parent company ended 2% higher.

Amazon Acquisition of Whole Foods Market will help bolster its Shares

Walmart is diversifying its services to compete with Amazon in the global online retail market. Amazon provides voice shopping through Alexa voice assistant, and Walmart uses a similar strategy. Walmart will offer its customers to shop adding an item directly to the Walmart Grocery cart list using Google’s voice assistant. The company is also planning to expand voice-shopping service with other partners in the coming years.

Moreover, Walmart offers voice shopping for pickup at more than 2,100 stores. And, online delivery services available in more than 800 Walmart stores. According to Google, details of customers’ purchase histories will be intact. This will help the assistant to know the type of products each customer prefers.

Amazon currently holds a huge share in the U.S. smart speakers market, which encouraged Walmart to take effective steps. According to data provided by a research company, Amazon holds 67% share in the U.S. smart speakers market. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for nearly about US$14 billion. Currently, Whole Foods is offering special discounts to Amazon Prime members. These strategies boost demand in both a retail store and service providers. Due to these schemes, Walmart is competing fiercely with Amazon.

Walmart Asks Delivers Employees to Make Delivers on their Way Home

In a new move to beat the intensifying competition, Walmart is initiating a program for its employees to earn little more while adding value to their delivery processes. To compete with Amazon’s incredible delivery services, Walmart is enlisting its employees to deliver goods on their way home from work. The idea is aimed at cutting delivery costs and helping the employees to improve their income. Marc Lore, chief executive of Walmart’s e-commerce business and the founder of Jet.com stated that trucks used regular shipping could be used to bring the orders closer to their final destination, where the Walmart employee is and the same can be delivered to the consumer’s house.

Walmart’s Plans for Employees Raise Questions of Employee Abuse
The employees stand a chance to earn more through this voluntary program by getting paid overtime to make deliveries on their way. However, so far, there is no clarity on how the employees will be paid. Furthermore, this program raises questions such as should the employees be shouldering such risks, liability, and cost that comes with deliveries. If the company does not compensate for full journey, problems such as parking tickets, car depreciation, and gas it lead to abuse of employees.

Despite Walmart announcing its plans of raising employee salary by US$10 per hour, several employees are still struggling to make ends meet. Thus, despite this program being a voluntary one employees would opt for it as it would be a big chance to make an extra buck.