Last year, Google Express launched their partnership with Walmart to great fanfare and it was hailed by many as their defensive strategy against Amazon. Over the holidays, Google and Walmart even joined forces to add a $25 promotional credit to Walmart’s store on Google Express to anyone that purchased a Google Home product.
When Walmart products first started becoming available on Google Express, inventory mirrored exactly what was shown on the Walmart app or website regardless oh shopper location. This, of course, makes sense since Walmart was simply making its products available to Google via an API. Additionally, Walmart was offering free 2-day shipping via traditional carriers vs couriers so inventory location was not a hinderance to availability.
Over the last week or so it seems that something has changed. Many items that were available on Google Express from Walmart are suddenly “out of stock” or “not carried in my area” (I have changed many areas and see the same results).
On basic groceries like detergent there is limited availability compared to the Walmart site, and even searches like Tide only bring up 3 actual Tide detergents.
Its possible that there are API connection issues between Walmart and Google, but these kinds of things would likely get fixed pretty quickly if there was a business impact to either party. The more likely scenario is that Walmart is reducing the items they are making available to Google which does not bode well for that anti-Amazon strategy they were hoping to build.