Target Corporation (TGT) Expands Google Express Partnership Nationwide

Target Corporation (TGT) Expands Google Express Partnership Nationwide

Also, starting next year, Target shoppers will have the option to pick up their Google Express orders at a Target store, with the items ready in two hours.

In August, Walmart unveiled plans to rollout a similar voice-activated shopping via Google Express and Google Home tools for its 4,700 US stores and its fulfillment network "to create customer experiences that don't now exist within voice shopping anywhere else", including choosing to pick up an order in store (often for a discount) or using voice shopping to purchase fresh groceries across the country.

The move is happening as Google says shopping will be available later this year through Google Assistant on iPhone and Android phones, joining its Google Home device and Android TV.

For many, the experience of shopping at Target is nearly a religious experience. Until now Target has been testing the service in select areas of New York City and California.

With this expanded partnership, there is some overlap between Google Express and Target's own ReStock program for daily essentials, but it of course lacks Google's voice technology.

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"We're excited to offer this service nationwide in time for the busy holiday season", Mike McNamara, Target's chief information and digital officer, said in a statement. For example, you'll be able to add your REDcard to Google Express to receive 5 percent off most Target orders, plus free shipping.

More devices are in the hands of shoppers. In fact, Walmart, which went live with voice shopping last week, is integrating its easy reorder feature - which has data on both store and online purchases - into Google Express. Customers also will have the option to link their Target.com accounts to Google Express, enabling more personalized recommendations and rapid re-order capabilities. Even Apple has one coming out this year.

The news follows a similar announcement from Walmart in late August, which saw the retailer - Amazon's biggest rival - partnering with Google on voice-based shopping. That includes the core Echo, as well as the less expensive and smaller Echo Dot and the portable Amazon Tap.

Other national brands that have formally aligned with Google's voice-activated virtual assistant to accept spoken orders via the delivery marketplace Google Express, including Costco, Guitar Center, Kohl's, L'Occitane, Payless, PetSmart, Road Runner Sports, Sur La Table, Ulta, Walgreens, and Amazon's Whole Foods.

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