Shopping With Google Assistant Coming Soon, Target Added to Google Express

The Target team up comes just after a similar partnership with Walmart and Google.                  Chris Monroe  CNET

The Target team up comes just after a similar partnership with Walmart and Google. Chris Monroe CNET

They'll also be able to use Target's loyalty card as an option for Google Express shoppers, giving them such benefits as a 5 percent discount off most purchases.

"At Google, we are focused on continued innovation and making Google Express a platform to help retailers like Target offer consumers a high quality seamless, end-to-end shopping experience", said Daniel Alegre, President of Retail and Shopping, Google.

The Google Assistant shopping support, which is already available via the company's Home connected speaker, is now available on Android TV devices and soon will be added as an update for the apps on Android and iOS smartphones.

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.

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. "Work is underway for Google and Target teams to bring this all to life". Amazon started offering Echo voice assistants in late 2014, while Google made its debut with Google Home earlier this year.

The Google Express expansion follows Target's successful trial of the home-delivery shopping service in California and NY, allowing more guests across the country to shop Target's assortment via the service for delivery in two days. Or you went to the store only to realize they didn't have the brand you wanted?

Target joins Walmart, Costco, Kohl's and Ulta in a growing list of retailers that have partnered with Google's voice-activated shopping platform at a time when Amazon's Alexa platform eats up market share.

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. In August, it acquired a software company that manages local and same-day deliveries, and it's also now offering curbside pickup of online orders in the Twin Cities area.

Merchants routinely offer online ordering to consumers who have gravitated to the e-commerce way of shopping. Even Apple has one coming out this year. It's hard to beat Amazon's tight integration, but by shopping with well-known brick-and-mortar stores, Google may be able to win over people who haven't been wooed by Amazon Prime.

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