Discount retailer takes Google-based voice ordering program national

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Discount retailer takes Google-based voice ordering program national

By Deena M. Amato-McCoy - 10/12/2017
Target shoppers across the United States can now place an order using just their voice.

Deepening its relationship with Google, the discounter is expanding its Google Express program nationwide. The home delivery shopping service enables customers to use their Google Assistant in their Google Express app or website, Google Home device or Android TV to conduct voice-assisted shopping from a variety of retailers — including Target. The program’s breadth will expand even further next year when Google Assistant is available on eligible Android phones and iPhones, Target said.

The program, which started as a pilot in California and New York City, is now available across the continental U.S. Target shoppers who meet a $35 minimum are also eligible for free shipping. Orders are picked from Target store shelves, and arrive in two days, according to the retailer.

“In the markets where we’ve offered Google Express, guests tell us they love the ease and convenience of shopping Target through Google. So we’re excited to offer this service nationwide in time for the busy holiday season,” said Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information and digital officer.

The move comes on the heels of Walmart’s partnership with Google that makes hundreds of thousands of items available for voice shopping via Google Assistant. At the time of the deal, Walmart had the largest number of items currently offered by a retailer through the platform.

Not to be outdone, Target has even bigger plans for its collaboration with Google. “Target and Google teams are working on the next chapter, building experiences that digitally replicate the joy of shopping a Target store to discover stylish and affordable products,” McNamara said.

While details are still in the works, one experience set launch in 2018 includes using voice and other innovative solutions to strengthen the retailer’s style categories, such as home, apparel and beauty. Another service will enable Target customers to link their online accounts with Google. This will allow them to receive personalized recommendations, and quickly re-order merchandise based on past Target purchases.

Also planned for 2018 is the integration of the discounter’s REDcard credit and debit cards into the mix. This gives Google Express customers 5% off of most Target purchases, and entitles them to free shipping.

The partners are also working on a program that gives shoppers the option to pick up their orders at a Target store within two hours.