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Google plans to allow purchases through Google Assistant

Friday 12 January 2018 | 08:54 AM CET

Google has reportedly announced plans to focus on Assistant in 2018 by launching a revamped online store and allowing voice-controlled purchases.

Bloomberg reports that Google plans a second revamp of its online store with a focus on its Nest devices. The company may also allow users to purchase products through Assistant.

Sources tell that Google and its parent company, Alphabet are worried about the growing market share of Amazon’s Alexa voice-enabled devices.

Although Google Assistant runs on over 400 million Android-powered smartphones, some manufacturers, like LG Electronics opt to support voice-controlled assistants from both Google and Amazon. At CES, the Korean company introduced a new TV model that relies on Google, while its refrigerators will use Alexa, which would enable users to buy groceries directly from Amazon.

The main challenge for Google is to find ways to monetize Assistant. For Amazon, things look a lot easier because Alexa is integrated with Amazon’s marketplace and if, in the future, the company allows for voice-enabled purchases, it will have a significant advantage over Google’s Assistant.

It is estimated that Google Home will capture 25% of the smart speaker market in 2018, while Amazon’s Echo will command a 68%. It is clear, however, that both companies plan to invest in voice-enabled shopping and payments. The battle between assistants is just beginning.

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