According to an article in Business Insider, Google Home now allows customers to order and pay for goods through voice commands using Google Express retail partners.
Apparently, these partners include well-known brands such as Costco, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart and Whole Foods. Google Home which was introduced to compete directly with Amazon’s Echo is allowing users to make purchases through Google Express without service fees and standard delivery fees until the end of April. There are plans to expand the voice shopping service by adding more features and by integrating it with other services and retail apps.
Google Home was only launched two months ago whereas Amazon Echo has a two-year head start, but only 32% of Echo owners use it to shop. Voice-activated shopping is thought to be instrumental in allowing Google to effectively compete with the Echo. Additionally, this strategy may entice more customers to use the device because the firm is partnering with major retailers that many consumers already frequently shop with. The voice shopping feature by Google is being marketed as a way to deal with everyday purchases such as groceries, cleaning supplies or pet food which could in turn help to generate repeat purchases and will form long-lasting habits. This will help to make Google Home more important to its owners while allowing retail partners to promote their e-commerce business more easily.
In spite of all the new technology being recently introduced onto the market, the demand for smart home technology has yet to take off. At the moment, it is still at the early adopter phase and has yet to move into the mass-market phase. It’s being prevented from doing so due to high device prices combined with long device replacement cycles and limited consumer demand. The biggest barrier to overcome is the fact that consumers need multiple networking devices and apps to build and run a smart home.