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GeekWire reports that Google Home - the voice-activated computer assistant that competes directly against Amazon's Alexa/Echo system - is adding shopping to its functionality.

According to the story, Google has "introduced shopping to its voice-powered assistant, allowing users to order everyday basics from Google Express retailers. Users can shop from more than 50 national or local stores, including Google, Whole Foods Market, Walgreens and Target. While some stores will be available for any shopper, others are limited to certain areas.

"For now, users can only place one item per order and can only order things between $4 and $100. To order, just say 'OK Google, order paper towels' and then Home will offer a suggestion with a price, including tax. Shoppers can hear a second suggestion by saying 'no,' or confirm the order."

GeekWire notes that the "this addition could be a blow to Amazon, but, with more than 7,000 skills, Alexa does have a major head start in the world of voice-activated assistants. Google will likely be playing catch-up for a while."
KC's View:
I think this is something that every retailer has to start playing with, because I suspect that it will become a lot more ubiquitous a lot faster than one might expect. The ability to just speak up and order pretty much anything on a whim is going to be enormously attractive to an awful lot of people - especially young people who will be the next generation of shoppers.