Google has announced that its Google Assistant-powered Home smart speakers can now be used to purchase things online, a feature that was noticeably absent on search giant’s voice-activated speakers but present on rival Amazon Alexa-powered speakers. As Google Home and Amazon’s Echo speakers are now being considered direct rivals, this new addition means there is a little less to differentiate between the products by both companies.
To start shopping with Google Home speakers, users just need to say “Ok Google, how do I shop?” or “Ok Google, order” followed by name of the product they want to purchase online, Google said in its blog post. Interestingly, Google says that users don’t have to worry about additional service or membership fees until April 30. This indicates that the search giant might charge the fees post the aforementioned date.
Users can already start ordering from participating Google Express retailers, which currently include Whole Foods Market, Costco, Walgreens, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more than 50 other national and locally available retailers, the company said. The entire list of supported retailers can be found over here. Note that Google Home is currently available only in the US, and the list of retailers reflects this fact.
In order to set-up your Google Home for purchase, you need to go to the Google Home app head to More Settings > Payments, set your default credit card and delivery address.
Google says that this is just the beginning of what is possible for shopping with Google Assistant and that over coming months it will continue to add features and enable purchases for other apps and services.