Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is using the launch of a new Google Home device to entice more of its shoppers to order through voice-activated devices.
Google on Wednesday showed off its latest entrants in the smart speaker category: two new Home devices to better compete with Amazon.com Inc., Sonos Inc. and Apple Inc. in an increasingly crowded market.
The Google Home Mini is a circular-shaped device with no screen and is a fraction of the size of the original model. And at $50, it’s also less than half the price. The Home Mini comes in three colors: coral, chalk, and charcoal. The speaker isn’t as loud as the original, but it still comes with Google’s digital assistant so you can use your voice to ask questions, make calls, schedule appointments, control smart home devices, and play music.
Walmart, No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500, today announced that as part of its arrangement with Google, it will give shoppers who buy a Google voice-activated device up to $25 off their next Walmart purchase, but only if those shoppers link their Walmart account with the Google Express shipping and delivery service.
Walmart announced in August that it will sell products through Google Express. Walmart specified in today’s announcement that shoppers who want to buy via voice-based ordering can select from more than 2 million products that Walmart sells.
Walmart’s entry into voice-based ordering is another way it aims to compete with Amazon (No. 1), which already sells goods using its Alexa voice-based technology through its Amazon Echo and Echo Dot voice-based personal assistants.
The Google Home Mini device is smack in the price category of Amazon’s Echo Dot, and like Amazon, Alphabet Inc.’s Google likely imagines that users will buy multiple mini speakers and place them throughout their homes. It’s available for pre-order as of Wednesday and will be in stores Oct. 19.
The Google Home Max is larger with better speakers, costs $399 and will be launched in the U.S. in December. That’s more expensive than Apple’s upcoming $349 HomePod speaker.