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The battle between the Amazon Echo and Google Home is finally warming up. Amazon Echo users have, for a long time now, been able to purchase products using the smart speaker. And now Google Home users are being given the same opportunity thanks to Google Assistant and Google Express.
You can now buy things from a range of retailers using Google Home. Starting today (Feb 16, 2017), you can shop for everyday essentials just by talking at your Google Home speaker. And all you need to do to get started is say, “OK Google, how do I shop?” Google Assistant will then take you through a tutorial.
Participating Google Express Retailers
Before you start shopping through Google Home you’ll need to set up a payment method and update your shipping address. Once that’s complete, you’ll then be able to order any item available from participating Google Express retailers. These include Costco, Whole Foods, Walgreens, and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Buying through Google Express typically means paying a membership fee (of $95-per-year) or delivery charges starting at $4.99. However, to get people using the service, Google is waiving these fees and charges on all purchases made from now until April 30, 2017.
There’s a huge range of products available through Google Express. However, which retailers you have access to, and how long it will take to get your products, will depend on your location. Either way you’ll be able to purchase any available product costing between $4 and $100.
In the blog post announcing this new feature, Google states that this is “just the beginning of what’s possible for shopping with the Google Assistant,” before promising to “continue to add new features and enable purchases for other apps and services” over the coming months.
Stiffer Competition for the Amazon Echo
It’s fair to say Google Express cannot compete with Amazon on any level. After all, while Amazon is an online retailer first and foremost, Google is having to partner with established retailers. However, this feature adds another string to Google Home’s bow, providing stiffer competition for the Amazon Echo.
Do you own a Google Home speaker? If so, what do you use it for? Can you see yourself using Google Express? Or is it not available in your area? How do you feel about Google Home in general? Are you pleased with your purchase? Please let us know in the comments below!