While Google’s Home is every bit as powerful and intelligent as Amazon’s Echo on many fronts, there are a few areas where it doesn’t quite stack up. On Thursday though, Google brought the Home one step closer to the Echo by adding shopping functionality to Google Assistant — the AI that powers Google Home.
“Starting today, you can shop for your everyday essentials—from paper towels to vitamins,” Google revealed in a blog post on Wednesday. You’ll be able to order from participating Google Express retailers, including Costco, Whole Foods Market, Walgreens, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and more than 50 other national and locally available retailers [which you can see in the link above].”
All you have to do to start shopping is say “Ok Google, how do I shop?” at which point Google Assistant will explain how the process works. You can also just jump straight into shopping by saying something like “Ok Google, order paper towels.” Google Assistant will verify the command and order the product.
Additionally, from now until April 30th, 2017, Google won’t charge you for any service or membership fees. If you want to take advantage of this limited-time offer, head to the “More settings” section of the Google Home app, tap “Payments” and set your default credit card and shipping address. You can check out more detailed instructions on the set-up process on Google’s support website.
Google says that this is “just the beginning of what’s possible for shopping with the Google Assistant.” Purchases will be enabled in more apps and services “over the coming months.”