Target Goes National With Google Voice-Activated Shopping

Target Goes National With Google Voice-Activated Shopping

Customers will have the option to pick up their orders in a Target store, where online orders are ready in about two hours.

Google's announcement today that shopping will soon be available via the Google Assistant on eligible Android phones and iPhones, joining Google Home and Android TV, will allow Target guests to make their "Target Run" from a phone exclusively using voice commands, a first for the company. The cheap-chic retailer said Thursday that it will allow consumers to shop for Target merchandise through Google Express and with the Google Assistant. Shoppers will be able to get deliveries within two days since the items will be shipped to a nearby Target store for free provided the purchase meets the $35 order minimum.

Most of the capabilities of shopping through Google Express won't be available until 2018. This past summer, for example, the Minneapolis discounter began expanding its next-day essentials delivery service that it was testing to the Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C./Baltimore areas. "Who knows if these specialized devices will even exist in a few years time?", says Target's Chief Information and Digital Officer Mike McNamara, somewhat optimistically.

In 2018, customers will be able to use their Target REDcard as a payment option for Google Express orders, with shoppers getting 5% off most purchases and free shipping.

More devices are in the hands of shoppers.

"In the markets where we've offered Google Express, guests tell us they love the ease and convenience of shopping Target through Google". 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. 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.

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.

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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