Google seeks slice of Amazon's pie

Google's Shopping Actions feature could help retail chains keep customers

Read time 4min 10sec Google's Shopping Actions feature could help retail chains keep customers

The same initiative will expand the product portfolio offered by Google Express, the company's existing shopping service which is presently available in parts of the United States. The retailers will pay Google a piece of each purchase in exchange for their stores and products showing up on Google listings and being linked to retailers' loyalty programs.

According to a report by Reuters, Google is partnering with retailers such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Costco. Voice ordering has drastically risen and retailers have seen order sizes increase by almost 30 percent with the help of Google Express shopping cart. This is completely separate from any compensation that Google would receive for ads from the retailers, and listings under the program will appear under sponsored results and not interfere with regular search results.

According to Reuters, speaking to Google's President of Retail and Shopping, Daniel Alegre, mobile searches on Google's platform that look to find out the availability/ location of products have increased 85% in the past two years. Plus, with Google claiming most people end up defaulting to Amazon eventually anyway, extra exposure for everyone else is an excellent incentive to take part.

It will also bridge some of the gap caused by the European Union ruling that Google must let other shopping services advertise in its Google Shopping search results. The same customer can then order something like foil through a voice-enabled device and then purchased both items at once through a checkout flow hosted by Google. Algere said that early tests of the Shopping Actions program saw the number of items in a customer's shopping basket increase by 30 percent.

In a statement on its "Inside Adwords" blog, Google said, "Today's consumers don't just want answers; more and more, they're craving relevant, meaningful, and immediate assistance in completing their day-to-day shopping tasks". Ulta sells makeup and skin care products from brands such as MAC, Estee Lauder and Clinique.

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ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS MY FRIEND The retailers are also eager to get in on the rapidly growing voice shopping market dominated by Amazon's popular Echo home device, analysts and consultants said.

A Google search for "rubber duck" serves an Amazon link as the third result.

Smart voice devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home will be installed in 55 percent of USA households by 2022, according to Juniper Research. Especially since it's anticipated that 55 per cent of American homes will have some sort of smart speaker by 2022, and Alexa herself is expected to generate $10 billion worth of revenue by 2020. Mike McNamara, Target's chief digital and information officer, said: "Our guests love the ease and convenience of making their Target Run without lifting a finger by using voice interface".

"Google got the idea for the partnership from its users" behavior.

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