Be on the lookout for additional features that bring together the best of Google and Target in the coming year. Today, the company announced that Target will be joining the Express family and that users will soon be able to use the Google Assistant to shop on their phone.
Target's online sales rose 32 percent last quarter, well behind the 60 percent jump seen by Wal-Mart, which joined Google's online mall last month.
Target shoppers nationwide will now be able to make purchases on Google Express, after a successful test on the platform in California and NY, the company announced Thursday. In 2018, shoppers will be able to pick up their Target purchases made via Google Express at Target stores, should they want to forgo waiting on a shipment.
Companies, like Wal-Mart and Target are still finding ways to grow with Google, promising more to come.
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Voice shopping is still in its infancy, with most consumers not yet used to buying paper towels or shampoo using a smart speaker like the Google Home or Amazon Echo. Currently, Google Home and Assistant on Android TV are the only places where you can place orders, but "soon", it will go live on Android and iOS devices with the Assistant.
Announced this morning, all of Target is now shop-able via the Google Express application for all United States residents, with exception to Hawaii and Alaska.
For Target, the expanded Google partnership follows a series of steps created to tackle one of the primary challenges facing its omnichannel strategy by rivals like Amazon.
But as Amazon has expanded its discounts and two-day shipping with its Prime membership option, and has just heralded its Instant Pickup option, retailers have turned to one advantage they still possess - at least for the moment - in relation to Amazon: proximity to their customers and known inventory, which makes it possible to offer the ultimate convenience of letting someone click "buy" and then having it brought to them within a few hours. Nearly two out of three USA internet users shopped on Amazon in the second quarter, according to Wells Fargo analysts. A full rollout of voice ordering is expected to come to all of Panera's 2,000-plus US locations by the end of the year, the company has said. Other stores available nationwide for voice orders on Google Home include Costco, Kohl's and PetSmart.
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