Australia markets open in 4 hours 22 minutes

    -22.30 (-0.33%)

    +0.0115 (+1.80%)
  • ASX 200

    -17.30 (-0.27%)
  • OIL

    +4.18 (+5.26%)
  • GOLD

    +33.70 (+2.02%)

    +425.10 (+1.44%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    +9.64 (+2.21%)

Woolies is giving away free Google Home Minis to online shoppers

Some Australians have been "pleasantly surprised" to find a surprise gift in their Woolies shopping order. (Photo: Facebook/Stephanie Howlett Sarkany)
Some Australians have been "pleasantly surprised" to find a surprise gift in their Woolies shopping order. (Photo: Facebook/Stephanie Howlett Sarkany)

Some Woolies shoppers may have discovered that their online grocery delivery has been accompanied with a neat little gadget: a Google Home Mini, completely free of charge.

To make matters more mysterious, there are no strings attached; the voice-activated device does not appear to be part of any promotion.

Australians have taken to social media to express their delight at their surprise find.

“Umm so just had my groceries delivered and this was inside one of the bags...what a pleasant surprise, thanks Woolworths,” one woman posted in the Markdown Addicts Australia Facebook group.

But where did it come from? Why was it added to this lady’s online grocery cart? How can shoppers get their hands on one? So many questions left unanswered.

Influencer HUB CEO and founder Bec Derrington had a similar experience and shared the news of the surprise freebie on Twitter.

In February, Gizmodo editor Tegan Jones – who received a free Google Home Mini with her weekly groceries and documented her experience – expressed her confusion.

“Milk - check. Onions - check. Google Home Mini - wait, what?”

“I checked the invoice. And there it was, right at the bottom. Google Home Mini - $0.00.

“Why had I been gifted something so extravagant?”

No one seems to know for sure why Woolies is giving away the Google assistant, but there are theories.

“This is a push by Woolies to encourage random people to use the shopping list function within Google Assistant to promote more online grocery orders,” a Facebook user commented.

The random giveaway comes two years after a promotion that ran in late 2017 that saw online shoppers who participated in a particular offer or who spent more than $300 on an online order receive a free device.

But that promotion appears to be long over now, and it seems Woolworths is just handing them out.

Reddit user Cronulla, whose parents received one of the devices for free, said the Google Home Mini was accompanied with a message that wished “Happy Valentine’s Day”.

(Source: Yahoo Finance screenshot/Reddit/Cronulla)
(Source: Yahoo Finance screenshot/Reddit/Cronulla)

“I did a whole lot of googling, and saw a lot about Woolies giving free Google home mini's [sic] for shops over $300 last year, but not like this for a random small shop. but yeah clearly they've gotten a lot of them from Google,” the Reddit user said in a comment on his own post.

Woolworths responds

It does seem that the supermarket giant is trying to encourage shoppers to use a voice function of the Google Home Mini that allows shoppers to verbally add items to their grocery list using the device.

“With a Google Home, customers can add items to their Woolworths shopping list via voice as and when they think of items around the house,” a Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.

“To get started, customers can simply ask their Google Home Mini ‘Ok Google, speak to Woolies.’”

But the question still stands: why?

Well, just because, apparently.

“From time to time, we like to send Google Home Minis with home deliveries to online customers as a gift with purchase.

“It's a small way for us to say thanks to our loyal online customers.”

So, if you ordered from Woolworths online, be sure to check your bags carefully, because you might be one of the lucky – and arbitrarily chosen – few.

In April and May, Spotify was giving away free Google Home Minis to Premium or Family users.

Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign up here and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.