Retailers join Google search program to fend off Amazon

20 March 2018, 03:18 | Andres Norman

Under a new program retailers can list their products on Google Search and Google Express

Under a new program retailers can list their products on Google Search and Google Express

As the program rolls out more widely however, marketplaces could see contraction as shoppers start to complete their purchases on Google and at a guess it may be unlikely that Google will want to give marketplaces access to Google Shopping Actions or that marketplaces will want to pay commissions - it's more likely it will remain a program for retailers to sell direct to consumers.

According to Reuters, Alphabet's Google is set to team up with a number of leading United States retailers including Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Costco Wholesale in the aim of generating revenues from product searches that take place across its platforms.

Users store payment information in the linked account for the instant checkout.

For example, shopper Kai can do a search on Google for moisturizing hand soap, see a sponsored listing for up & up brand soap from Target, and add it to a Google Express cart. Daniel Alegre, Google's president for retail and shopping, told Reuters exclusively.

For retailers, Google said that Shopping Actions uses a pay-per-sale model, "meaning you only pay when a sale actually takes place".

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The new program can potentially reset that part of the purchase journey but, the Verge noted, other factors, including delivery costs and speed, ease of use, and final product price differences, then come into play.

Google today (March 19) announced a new function to its digital ecosystem called Shopping Actions, allowing customers to use its Assistant and Search engine to streamline online purchasing. What Google has in search infrastructure, Amazon has in retail infrastructure, so for Google, third party help is important. Target reported that the size of customers Google Express checkout carts increased by almost 20 percent since partnering.

Amit Shah of 1-800 Flowers talked about the flexibility to purchase through multiple retailers into the single cart, saying: "On Shopping Actions, you can buy something from Costco for yourself but at the same time deliver a gift from 1-800-Flowers.com to your niece who is graduating high school". Smart home devices are considered a very lucrative portion of e-commerce.

A Google search for "rubber duck" serves an Amazon link as the third result. 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. Further, it would also help the retailers to compete with Amazon. As its part of the bargain, Google gets a piece of each purchase that's made.



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