Voice Shopping with Google Home & Assistant - All Your Questions Answered

Google shopping voice commands | setting up voice shopping | tracking your package | security & parental controls | what countries | shopping lists | and more
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Updated: 20th Dec 2019
Published: 4th Aug 2019
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By Ricky Harewood

Ricky is our Head of content and has written a large amount of the content on SMARTHOME.news. He man Read More...

Searching for an answer? Here's our table of contents: 

1) Can you shop on Google Home

2) How does Google Assistant voice shopping work?

3) What is Google Express?

4) Google Assistant Shopping Actions

5) Where can you shop with Google Assistant?

      a) How to Choose a Retailer

6) How to shop using Google Assistant

7) Google Assistant voice shopping commands

8) Google Assistant shopping list

      a) How to use Google Assistant shopping list

      b) Adding Items Using Voice

      c) Adding Items Manually

      d) Renaming Lists

      e) Google Home multiple shopping lists

      d) Google Home shopping list sharing- an easy hack

      e) Google Home shopping list iPhone

      f) Buying gifts with Google Home

      g) Google Assistant read my shopping list

9) Google Assistant shopping controls and security

      a) Checking Order Status

      b) How to track packages with Google Assistant

      c) Cancelling Orders

      d) Personal Results for Google Shopping

      e) Google Assistant shopping/purchase parental controls

      f) Google Express order history

      g) Google Assistant shopping for different users, multiple devices

      h) Get Google Assistant shopping list on PC

      i) How do I ask Google Assistant to email my shopping list, todoist, wunderlist, or other lists?

10) Frequently Asked Questions

      a) Will other list apps work with Google Assistant?

      b) Is there a shopping list that works across Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa?

      c) In which countries is Google Assistant Shopping available?

11) Troubleshooting google home shopping

      d) Google Assistant shopping list not working

      e) iOS shopping app doesn’t work with Google Assistant

Life is so much easier when you have an assistant like Google Assistant to do your bidding. Now, you don’t have to move a finger to get things going around your smart home. Did you know that you can extend this convenience to the grocery store and beyond?

With Google Assistant shopping, it is possible to get your shopping done and delivered with a simple voice command. Let’s find out how it works.

Can you shop on Google Home?  

To help its smart home users keep up with their busy schedules and get shopping done via voice control, Google introduced a voice shopping feature. Users can shop for everyday essentials from several participating retail outlets in the US.

The feature works through the Google Home smart speaker or smartphone with Google Assistant support. With the integration of the Google Express online shopping service, users simply need to issue a voice command, and the Assistant takes it from there.

How does Google Assistant voice shopping work?

Before we get started using voice commands for shopping on Google Home, let’s learn a couple of things about how it all works.

What is Google Express?

Google Assistant voice shopping works thanks to Google Express. Express is comparable to Amazon Prime and is Google’s online shopping service. It resembles any other shopping site and has an Android app and an iOS app for easy access on the go.

In the early days, Google used to charge for membership to the service. However, it has since scrapped the fee. But currently, stores need to meet a minimum spend threshold ($25-$35) to qualify for free deliveries.

Google Assistant Shopping Actions

Google Shopping Actions is the program that lets retailers display their products on Google platforms, thanks to Google Express. These platforms offer customers an opportunity to shop through Google Assistant and Google Home, as well as through the Google Express mobile app and Google Search.

Voice shopping is among the most prominent features but is only available in the US.

Where can you shop with Google Assistant?

Google Home Express shopping allows users to shop from a large number of outlets. These include:

  1. Bed, Bath & Beyond
  2. Costco
  3. PetSmart
  4. Walgreens
  5. Whole Foods Market
  6. Walmart
  7. Sur La Table
  8. Road Runner Sports
  9. Payless
  10. L’Occitane
  11. Guitar Center
  12. Kohl’s and more than 50 other national and local retail stores

How to Choose a Retailer

For efficiency, Google has assigned various regions into delivery areas. Depending on your location, you get access to different stores as well as delivery days. To check the list of stores close to you, follow these steps:

On Mobile:

  1. Tap the Menu icon (three horizontal bars) and next to the location pin, tap the ZIP code
  2. Under “Select Shipping Address” tap an address
  3. Add a new address by selecting Manage Address Book>Add New Address
  4. Enter your address and tap “Save”
  5. Tap the Menu icon again then tap “Stores” and all available stores will be listed

On Desktop:

  1. Next to your location pin, tap the ZIP code
  2. Select “Add New Delivery Address”
  3. Enter the address and then “Save”
  4. Select “Stores” on the main menu to view the stores available close to you

Note that the service is currently available only in the US with the exceptions of Hawaii and Alaska. It is still unknown when it will be available in other regions such as Europe and the UK.

How to shop using Google Assistant

Now that we have covered the basic features of Google voice shopping, let’s figure out how to order using Google Assistant. Before we get started, you will need to set up payments. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. From the home screen, tap Menu
  3. Tap “More Settings”
  4. On “Google Account Settings” tap “Payments” and select “Get Started”
  5. If you already have a payment method linked to Google Play or any other Google service, you can select that one. But if you want a different one or have not set any, tap “Add Debit/Credit Card” and add a new payment method
  6. Enter a delivery address
  7. Select the Google Home you want to use to make orders
  8. Allow Google to access your personal information

Google Assistant voice shopping commands

Next, we are going to learn how to find and purchase items using various Google Assistant shopping commands.

  1. Google can help you learn the basics of voice shopping. To access the feature, say, “OK Google, how do I shop?” That will give you the instructions to get you started.
  2. To buy any item, say, “OK Google, buy [item].” In case you do not specify the purchase store, the system will base results on your order history as seen on Google Express. It can also check from participating stores that stock the item.
  3. To buy from a specific store, say, “OK Google, buy/purchase/order [item] from [name of store].”

In either case, Google Assistant will respond by giving you suggestions. Listen and when you hear a suggestion that you like, say “Yes” to place an order. Anytime you answer “No” Google Assistant will offer more suggestions.

Other Google Home shopping voice commands include:

  1. To buy an item you had previously purchased, say “OK Google, reorder [item]”
  2. To add an item to your shopping list, “OK Google, add [item] to my shopping list”
  3. To check what’s on the shopping list, “OK Google, what’s on my shopping list?”
  4. To track orders, “OK Google, where’s my package?”
  5.  “Ok Google, order items in my cart” orders your entire cart
  6.  “Ok Google empty my shopping cart” instructs Google Assistant to empty your shopping cart.

Google Assistant shopping list

One of the best features of Google voice shopping is the shopping list. Have you ever tried to shop from memory only to discover you left out an important item? At such times, a small item like toilet roll could turn into a crisis when you have to improvise or run back to the store.

Google voice shopping lets you create a shopping list. The feature is accessible whether you are a Google Express user or not. Here’s how to create a shopping list:

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap “Account” on the bottom right corner of the home screen
  3. Select “Settings” or “More Settings”
  4. Tap “Shopping List” under the “Services” tab
  5. Next to “My Shopping List” tap the Down Arrow
  6. You will get a “New List,” type the name of the list. You can make this your primary shopping list by tapping the checkbox
  7. Tap “Done”

How to use Google Assistant shopping list

Now that you have created your first shopping list, it’s time to add items. You can either add items using your voice or add them manually.

Adding Items Using Voice

To use your voice to add items to your list, simply use one of the commands listed above. Note that all of the items you add using this method will go on your primary list.

Adding Items Manually

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap “Account”
  3. Tap “Settings” or “More Settings”
  4. Select “Shopping List” under the “Services” tab
  5. Select “Add Item” and then type the name of the item
  6. Tap “Done” to add the item to your list

Renaming Lists

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap “Account”
  3. Tap “Settings” or “More Settings”
  4. Select “Shopping List” under “Services”
  5. To view your lists, tap the Down Arrow adjacent to “My Shopping Lists”
  6. Tap the three buttons next to the list you want to rename and then select “Rename”
  7. Delete the name and type in a new one then click “OK”

Google Home multiple shopping lists

You can create an unlimited number of shopping lists. Follow the above procedure every time you need to create a new list.

Google Home shopping list sharing- an easy hack

A useful hack is the Google Home shopping list sharing. This feature can come in quite handy when you want someone to pass by the grocery store and grab a few supplies. And the best part is that when you share the list, everyone with access can amend it.

To share a shopping list, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap “Account”
  3. Tap Settings>Services>Shopping List
  4. Next to “My Shopping List” tap the Down Arrow
  5. Tap the list you want to share and then hit the Share button
  6. Scroll through your contact list if you want to share the Google Home shopping list to phone. Send the list via email by typing in their email address.
  7. Every name you select will appear under “List Members”
  8. Tap “Save”
  9. The people you select will then receive an email alert and they can agree to join the list. However, if they want to amend the list they will have to make it their Primary shopping list.

Google Home shopping list iPhone

The above procedure applies whether you want to share the shopping list on iPhone or Android.

Buying gifts with Google Home

Google Assistant shopping can come in quite handy during holiday shopping. Not only does it help you avoid the holiday rush but it can also create gift lists. Simply say, “OK Google, create a gift list” and from here on you can add desired items.

Google Assistant read my shopping list

You may want to confirm what’s on your shopping list before you leave the house. You can do this hands-free as you go about other activities. If you would like Google Assistant to handle this for you, use the voice command “OK Google, what’s on my shopping list.” Google Assistant will then read out the items on the list.

Google Assistant shopping controls and security

Checking Order Status

You can check the status of your order by visiting google.com/express or on the Google Express app.

How to track packages with Google Assistant

To track an order, check the details of the package in the order confirmation email or on the Google Express orders page. When an order is on its way, you will get an email notification.

Cancelling Orders

Similarly, to cancel an order, you need to visit the Google Express orders page. You can also find the feature on the Google Express app. Note, however, that once an order is prepared for delivery, you cannot cancel it.

Personal Results for Google Shopping

If you want to limit the use of Google Home voice shopping, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap “Account” on the bottom right corner of the home screen
  3. Tap “Settings”
  4. Select “Assistant”
  5. Go to Devices and tap the Google Home you want to use
  6. Toggle “Personal Results” on

Google Assistant shopping/purchase parental controls

If you don’t like surprises, like having Google Express deliver an unauthorized giant toy car, you might want to know more about parental controls.

The main parental control features include Family Link and Digital Wellbeing. When you have Digital Wellbeing enabled, no one will be able to shop via voice, in addition to other restrictions. This could come in handy when there are no adults at home and you wish to avoid mischief.

Similarly, when you create supervised accounts on Family Link, children are restricted from a number of activities. These include making purchases, playing music from YouTube and other features. To facilitate this, Google Home uses the Voice Match feature to allow you to create a profile for every household member. Based on this, kids do not qualify to add to the shopping list.

Google Express order history

Using the Google Express order history, you can enjoy personalised shopping experience. Order history includes any purchases made through Google Express in the past as well as purchases from store accounts that you link.

Here are some of the ways it could optimise your shopping experience:

  1. By making recommendations of items to purchase
  2. Showing products you might be interested in based on your Google activity
  3. Letting you make quick reorders of items you have bought before
  4. Sending you reminders drawn from past orders and preferences

Google Assistant shopping for different users, multiple devices

In case you want to have multiple users shopping using Google Home voice control, there are a few points to note. Foremost, you need to ensure that each of these people links their Google account and voice. This includes the person who set up Google Home. Next, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Home app
  2. Tap “Account” on the bottom right corner
  3. Tap Settings>More Settings>Assistant>Voice Match
  4. Make sure to check all the devices to which you want to link your voice
  5. Tap “Continue” and then “I Agree”
  6. Follow the steps on your screen
  7. Proceed with the Voice Match setup noting that to hear personal information, you need to enable “Personal Results”
  8. Invite other potential users to set up Voice Match so as to get tailored results as well. To do so, tap “Invite” select a communication method and send invites

Get Google Assistant shopping list on PC

Would you like to access your shopping list on your computer? Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to google.com/express
  2. Click on the list icon which appears to the left of the shopping cart icon

From here you can click on “Shop Your List” to place an order and you can also edit, delete or check items.

How do I ask Google Assistant to email my shopping list, todoist, wunderlist,  or other lists?

At the moment, there is no direct command for telling Assistant to send your shopping list on email. But you can access it on email nonetheless. An easy way to do this is by adding your email address to the list of people you share your list with.

Here’s how:

  1. Open the shopping list on Google Home app
  2. Click the Menu icon then select “List”
  3. Tap “Manage”
  4. Click “More” then select “Share”
  5. Type in your email address

You will now get the list on email and you can open it directly from here to view and amend it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my smartwatch with Google Assistant shopping?

For added convenience, you can access your shopping list and make voice purchases using smartwatches. These include:

  1. Wear OS by Google Smartwatches
  2. Fossil Sport Smartwatch
  3. Mobvoi Ticwatch
  4. Misfit Vapor
  5. Tory Burch

Will other list apps work with Google Assistant?

There are a number of apps that work with Google Assistant. They include:

  1. OurGroceries – a third-party app that lets you sync your shopping list across all your devices
  2. Todoist – a task manager with integrations to Google Home using third party actions
  3. AnyDo – a robust grocery list that lets you create multiple lists and get personal recommendations on the basis of previous lists
  4. Out of Milk – a popular list app with shopping, to-do and pantry capabilities

What IFTTT recipes are there for Google Assistant shopping?

IFTTT presents a wide range of options on how to create your shopping list. You can create the list on MeisterTask, Evernote, Todoist, Trello, iOS reminders and Wunderlist among others. Here’s how to create an IFTTT applet for your Google Home shopping list:

  1. On your browser, go to ifttt.com

  2. Click on username on the top right corner and on the drop-down menu that appears, select “New Applet”

  3. Start by clicking “This”

  4. Go to “Choose Trigger Channel” and select “Google Assistant”

  5. Create the trigger by selecting “Say a phrase with a text ingredient, then type in a phrase such as “Add $ to MeisterTask shopping list.” In this case, $ represents the item you want to add. You can optionally create additional wording

  6. Click “That” and then select the app you want to use to create shopping lists

  7. Under “Action” choose the option relevant to your app. If you are using a task manager like MeisterTask, you could choose “Create Task”

  8. Set a title, click “Create Action” and then “Finish”

From here on, all you need is a command to get things going, such as, “OK Google, add Cheetos to MeisterTask shopping list.”


Is there a shopping list that works across Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa?

 A majority of the third-party shopping list apps work with both Google Assistant and Alexa. These include the ones mentioned above, such as OurGroceries, AnyDo, Out of Milk and Todoist.


In which countries is Google Assistant Shopping available?

Shopping on Google Home using Google Assistant is only available in the US where there are more than 50 stores to choose from. However, Google Shopping itself is available in numerous countries.

The major differentiating factor is that in these countries, Google Shopping does not support the convenient feature of voice shopping. It’s worth noting that Google Home has expanded its reach beyond the US.

It is currently available in a number of other countries including:

  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • Austria
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • South Korea
  • The Netherlands
  • Denmark
  • Mexico
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Singapore
  • Japan

But even in countries where Google Home is unavailable, users can easily get access to Google Assistant. At CES 2019, it was reported that Google Assistant was available in 80 countries and could speak 30 languages.

The main advantage Google enjoys in this regard is the support of its AI assistant on devices such as smartphones. This has made it one of the most easily accessible personal assistants available.

Google Shopping is available in 121 territories and countries around the globe. So if Google has the technology and the international coverage why hasn’t it merged all its features across the globe? There are many reasons but one could be the complexity of supporting international delivery.

An alternative to that could for Google to find suitable retailers in each individual supported country to join the program and support shoppers. In any case, with time the boundaries of Google Home and Google Assistant shopping are likely to extend beyond US borders.

Troubleshooting google home shopping

Google Assistant shopping list not working

This is a common problem for Google shopping list users. In many cases, it happens because of a bug in the software version you are using. The best solution is to look for the latest updates to fix the bug. Alternatively, you may need to clear the app cache.

Check if the app is the problem by going to shoppinglist.google.com and trying to enter items manually. If that works, then it means the issue is on the app.

iOS shopping app doesn’t work with Google Assistant

In order to address this issue, you need to install the latest version of Google Assistant for iOS on the App Store. If you are already on the latest version, try deleting the app and then install it again. That might solve any possible issues.

An alternative to this is to use an IFTTT applet that supports common iOS and Google Assistant shopping list for Google Home. That will allow you to use one shopping list for both assistants.