Target is significantly expanding its partnership with Google, offering customers voice-directed ordering through a Google Home device or an Android TV – and soon through any Android phone or iPhone – and two-day delivery nationwide via Google Express.
“That literally means you can lay on the couch, close your eyes and list out loud the Target items on your shopping list…and then Google and Target will take it from there,” the company said in a blog post announcing the news, hopefully not encouraging potato types.
Shipping will be free for orders of $35 or more, $25 for Target’s loyalty members. Until now Target has been testing the service in select areas of New York City and California. While the focus is on replenishing everyday essentials, Target customers can order other items as well.
Target spokesman Eddie Baeb said more than 100,000 products are available through Google Express, and that two-day delivery across the U.S. is possible by fulfilling orders from nearby stores.
In 2018, customers will be able to use their Target REDcard as a payment option for Google Express orders, with shoppers getting 5% off most purchases and free shipping. Also in 2018, customers can link their Target and Google accounts for easy reordering “so the service will remember all your fave items,” Target said in a blog post announcing the news.
And lest Target’s 1,816 U.S. stores be forgotten or foot traffic ignored, next year shoppers will be able to opt for in-store pickup of orders via Google Express.
With this expanded partnership, there is some overlap between Google Express and Target’s own ReStock program for daily essentials, but it of course lacks Google’s voice technology.
Baeb said Target is working to integrate ReStock with Google Assistant voice technology, so a ReStock order could be placed via Google Home or Android TV, and soon from Android phones and iPhones.
MCM Musings: Things seem to be accelerating rapidly in the area of voice-directed commerce. With all the activity and new offerings, shoppers will soon switch from using voice assistants mostly to find out the winner of the 1967 World Series (it was the St. Louis Cardinals, by the way) to also ordering detergent, mustard, apparel – and pretty much everything else.