Target seeks to implement voice shopping

Target plans to use Google Express to create an easier, and much more personalized, experience for its shoppers.
By David Sims | Oct 14, 2017
Target plans to team up with Google to bring voice-activated shopping to its stores.

This new move will allow shoppers to look at and buy thousands of different in-store items. Perishables like fruit and milk will be the only items not readily available.

The new move will occur later this year through Google Assistant on iPhone and Android phones. This will make it so shoppers are able to give orders to their phone while they are running errands.

The chain's new model will bring it alongside other big stores like Walmart and Home Depot, who have already partnered with Google on voice shopping. In addition, Target also plans to expand nationwide with Google Express, a program that offers faster delivery from a test program in New York City and California.

That system -- which will ship from local Target stores -- will allow shoppers to receive deliveries within two days at no extra cost as long as their purchase is $35 or more. Target hopes that by next year the Google Express program will enable shoppers to pick up their orders within two hours as well.

Many retailers are offering more shopping options, and most of them are related to new technology. The idea is to increase the ease and accessibility of the store.

"We have lots of different choices of how they buy from us," said Mike McNamara, Target's chief information and digital officer, according to Mercury News.

Most of the new devices are in the hands of the shoppers, and even Apple plans to join the fray later this year. However, the key is personalizing the orders so the technology can recognize which brand a certain person wants. Target hopes to achieve this by allowing customers to link their accounts with Google Express.

While a big part of this move is to help Google compete with the dominant sales of the Amazon Echo, Target does not want their system to be tied to any in-home devices. Rather, they believe mobile is the way to go.

"Who knows if these specialized devices will even exist in a few years time?," added McNamara, according to TechCrunch. "Or whether it's a piece of software than runs on your TV or on your telephone."

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