Google Assistant now can be used to shop at Target

Target joins other retailers in offering voice shopping

The company has integrated it into Google Home so you can place a simple order for things like candy or household goods using just your voice.

Announced this morning, all of Target is now shop-able via the Google Express application for all U.S. residents, with exception to Hawaii and Alaska. One of the core functions of the Echo is its ability to easily order and reorder products, so for the Google Home to be an equal competitor, it needs to be able to offer that same ability.

Also, the Google partnerships could give buyers of its smart speakers more selection and help keep up competition in the voice-shopping market.

The Google Express expansion follows Target's successful trial of the home-delivery shopping service in California and NY, allowing more guests across the country to shop Target's assortment via the service for delivery in two days. In August, it acquired a software company that manages local and same-day deliveries, and it's also now offering curbside pickup of online orders in the Twin Cities area. "So we're excited to offer this service nationwide in time for the busy holiday season", said Mike McNamara, chief information and digital officer at the Minneapolis-based retailer. And since items are shipped from a nearby Target store, guests will receive their orders in just two days.

And lest Target's 1,816 US stores be forgotten or foot traffic ignored, next year shoppers will be able to opt for in-store pickup of orders via Google Express.

Target will further deepen its partnership with Google in 2018, as Target plans to make the Target REDcard debit or credit card available as an option for Google Express shoppers. The other, and potentially bigger news, is that Google is bringing shopping capabilities to Google Assistant when you're using the virtual assistant on a supported smartphone or tablet. Customers also will have the option to link their Target.com accounts to Google Express, enabling more personalized recommendations and rapid re-order capabilities. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals millions of dollars a week.

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