Retail

Google Assistant Comes To Home Depot

Google has added a new partner to its Google Home voice ordering portfolio. Home Depot announced Thursday (Sept. 7) it is the newest retailer to team up with Google as it looks to expand its digital sales horizon.

Home Depot has confirmed it will now begin selling products on Google Home devices as well as via the Google Express commerce portal online and on mobile. Retailers Walmart, Target and Costco have all recently made similar announcements.

“We’re focused on delivering convenience and value as we continue to invest in best-in-class interconnected experiences for our customers,” said Home Depot online president and chief marketing officer Kevin Hofmann in a statement on the company’s website. “Google has been a key strategic partner for us over many years, and we’re excited to take our relationship to the next level with the Google Assistant and Google Express.”

Voice-controlled ordering is shaping up to be an important retail battleground, especially as the services are expected to grow sharply in terms of consumer use over the next several years. Market research company eMarketer estimates 35.6 million Americans will use internet-connected devices to carry out a voice-directed task at least once a month this year, a figure that has more than doubled since this time last year.

Currently, Amazon and its Alexa-powered Echo device are far and away the pack leader in this emerging area, with 70.6 percent of voice shopping customers using Amazon Echo devices to complete their orders.

At present, Google Home owns about 24 percent of the voice-activated market and is working hard to close the gap. That has meant triaging a $10 per month membership fee to attract more users to the platform and, of course, adding on big name partners like Home Depot, among other things.

But, Amazon also continues to ramp up its efforts. As the Home Depot news was breaking from Google, Amazon announced a new partnership with Kohl’s that will see Amazon goods gaining floor space in Kohl’s brick-and-mortar retail stores. Best Buy is also using its stores to display Amazon and Google products.

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