Walmart has made its voice ordering service available through a Siri Shortcut in partnership with Apple. After shoppers have paired their accounts, they will now be able to add items directly to their Walmart Online Grocery cart. Customers can build their basket by simply saying “Add to Walmart” and listing the products they want.
The service was created to emphasize speed and convenience. For example, customers who place their order in their cars can pick it up on the way home or have it delivered to their doors. However, shoppers who aren’t in a rush are free to add items to their cart over the course of several hours or days, using whatever Apple device or combination of devices they prefer.
Walmart Voice Order also is capable of learning customers’ habits, allowing the service to improve its capabilities over time by remembering past orders. For instance, experienced users can simply say “add orange juice to my cart” and the service will automatically pick their preferred brand.
The Siri capabilities join voice ordering through Google Assistant, which launched in April on iPhones, Android phones and Google Home Hub smart displays, among other devices. The Google partnership also leverages customer data to learn preferences over time.
Walmart also is making its own technological strides through its February 2019 acquisition of Aspectiva, an Israel-based natural language processing startup. The startup’s capabilities are being used to enhance the entire end-to-end shopping experience, including voice and chatbots.
The retail giant’s investments are helping the company ride a growing voice commerce wave: 78% of global consumers have used these devices to research and buy products and services, create shopping lists or check order status, according to a study by Capgemini. The retailer is among the 23% of companies in the consumer products and retail space that have already deployed voice assistants, putting Walmart well ahead of the curve.
This overall emphasis on delivery and convenience seems to be paying off for the company — the brand’s Q2 2019 e-Commerce sales growth of 37% was driven in part by a strong performance in online grocery. Expanding voice capabilities is likely to help maintain this momentum, as will the rollout of InHome delivery in three cities.