FRANCE – Carrefour, France’s largest food retailer and Google have formed a strategic partnership to boost its ecommerce platform and support its digital transformation.

Carrefour said it has collaborated with the technology company which help it innovate new distribution models and takes its grocery shopping experience online.

As part of the partnership, Carrefour will open an innovation lab in Paris this summer in collaboration with Google Cloud, something prospected to create new customer experiences.

In a tactic against rivals who are also launching e-commerce drives, Google will support Carrefour’s digital transformation by deploying G Suite productivity tools

and collaborative solutions across the entire Carrefour group.

In France, retailers are contenting for a market share in food retail prompting for investments in online platforms and home delivery services for consumers who now demand convenience at the same time quality service.

Retailers are also exploring strategies to ward off the US ecommerce giant Amazon which agreed with the French Retailer Casino’s upmarket Monoprix chain to sell products on its platform.

Meanwhile, Alphabet Inc’s Google has been pushing to roll out new shopping services to retailers such as Walmart to enable them list products on a special shopping site or Google Assistant on mobile phones and voice devices, reported Reuters.

The deal is the first partnership in France and the programme will train 1,000 Carrefour employees in new technologies.

The two will bring together expertise to offer consumers new and innovative commerce experience in a store, online, on smartphones, or with voice.

“I would like to thank the Google teams, both in France and the United States for this strategic partnership for our two groups.

This alliance makes Carrefour the first partner of Google on grocery e-commerce in Europe, creating a strong bond between the two companies.

It also marks an important step in the new story written by Carrefour since the announcement of the Carrefour 2022 plan.

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.

Sébastien Missoffe, VP and Managing Director of Google France said, “”Shoppers today are saddled with disconnected experiences through the shopping journey, which often lead to abandoned shopping carts and low customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Customers want assistive, simple and personalized experiences that help them make decisions on what to buy, assist with easily building baskets across surfaces, and provide a seamless checkout.”

The companies said Google will also roll out its G Suite productivity tools – where it rivals Microsoft Office – to the entire Carrefour group and its 160,000 employees.

Earlier this year, Carrefour announced it would invest US$3.28 billion to upgrade its digital operations with a focus on its e-commerce business in China and competition against its rival Amazon.