Walmart pulls products off Google Express
Walmart products are no longer available through Google Express a Walmart spokesperson confirmed to Retail Dive on Friday. "Walmart and Google remain committed to our strategic partnership," the spokesperson said in an email. "With regards to voice shopping, we are focusing on developing a Walmart-specific Action for the Google Assistant."
Bloomberg first reported the news on Thursday, citing a tweet from Google Express published on Jan. 22. According to that report, Walmart also withdrew from the internet giant's Shopping Actions service, which launched in March 2018 with Walmart and Target as founding partners. The venture, which integrates the Google Assistant, was developed in part to rally big retail players against Amazon's growing dominance in voice commerce.
In a statement emailed to Retail Dive, a Google spokesperson said: "We are committed to the success of retailers and partner with them in many different ways to help users discover and purchase millions of products across platforms. Walmart remains a strategic partner across multiple businesses including Google Ads, and we're excited to support Walmart’s development of a conversational Action for the Google Assistant."
Nearly a year ago at the ShopTalk retail conference, Google proudly announced that it had signed over several major retailers to a new program under which their merchandise would be prioritized in Google search results, the Google Express shopping service and the Google Assistant platform. Walmart, as well as Target, Home Depot, Costco and Ulta Beauty all signed on as the first retailers to participate.
At the time, Google's president of retail and shopping Daniel Alegre, told an audience of retailers that those in the program had seen average basket size increase by 30% since joining. Ulta's average order value rose 35% and Target's rose 20%, he said. It's unclear whether Walmart also experienced a lift through the program.
The company offered no details regarding why Walmart no longer offers products through Google Express but said it is still working on a Google Shopping Action specific to the company.
Over the last two years, Walmart has made major investments in its e-commerce business, including its website, Jet.com's website and delivery operations for both units. So far, efforts appear to be paying off. In the second quarter of 2018, Walmart sales grew the highest they have in over 10 years. In the most recently reported quarter, Walmart e-commerce sales grew 43%.
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