As Amazon celebrates its one-year anniversary as owner of Whole Foods, its rival Google is partnering with Carrefour Group to aid the French retail company in its digital transformation.
Carrefour Group, which operates stores in more than 30 countries, is partnering with the U.S. tech giant on a grocery shopping experience that will be available as early as 2019. According to a press release, the system will allow shoppers to make purchases through the Google Assistant, connected speakers such as Google Home and the Google shopping website in France.
"This alliance makes Carrefour the first partner of Google on grocery e-commerce in Europe, creating a strong bond between the two companies... It allows us to accelerate our digital evolution and get a head start in deploying the omnichannel approach we want to offer our customers," said Alexandre Bompard, CEO of Carrefour, in a release.
In addition, Carrefour and Google will open an innovation lab in Paris this summer where Carrefour engineers will work with Google Cloud AI experts to "create new consumer experiences." As a result of the collaboration, 1,000 Carrefour employees will be trained on such programs as G Suite productivity tools.
"Shoppers today are saddled with disconnected experiences through the shopping journey, which often lead to abandoned shopping carts and low customer satisfaction and loyalty... With Alexandre Bompard and his team, we wanted to explore new distribution models and e-commerce technologies to deliver simple, frictionless and deeply relevant experiences for shoppers in France,” said Sébastien Missoffe, VP and managing director of Google France, in a release.
News of the Google-Carrefour Group partnership comes on the heels of Microsoft announcing it was working on an automated checkout technology that could help retailers compete with Amazon’s new cashier-less stores.