Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Google seeks to challenge Amazon with new Shopping Actions service

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
Jean Garcia | 20 March, 2018, 03:14

Reuters reports that tech giant Google is attempting to add another revenue stream to their company in the form of partnerships with major retailers such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, and Ulta Beauty.

According to Monday's announcement, Shopping Actions gives customers "an easy way to shop your products on the Google Assistant and Search with a universal cart, whether they're on mobile, desktop or even a Google Home device".

Google is moving beyond search and further into e-commerce through a new collaboration with several USA retailers that would see them give the company a cut of their purchases.

According to Alegre, the shopping-related mobile search has grown by 85% in the last two years, and the trend is expected to grow on the backs of the rising popularity of the smart speakers. Through Shopping Actions, Google and others may have a greater opportunity to influence shoppers' purchasing patterns and increase the competition in this area.

Getting their products on Google Home is also bound to be of interest, especially since it's the only real competitor Amazon has in the assistant-enabled devices sector.

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When consumers are in the market for a new product, Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google is routinely one of the first stops.

For retailers, Google said that Shopping Actions uses a pay-per-sale model, "meaning you only pay when a sale actually takes place". The program was announced by Google's President for Retail and Shopping, Daniel Alegre, in an exclusive interview with Reuters. But with the increasing presence of Amazon in people's lives from Alexa interactions to Whole Foods shopping trips, you didn't expect Google and Walmart to take this lying down, did you?

Using an example, Google wrote: "Shopper Kai can do a search on Google for moisturizing hand soap, see a listing for up & up brand soap from Target, and add it to a Google Express cart". Tens of thousands of users use its image search service to identify a product they only have a picture of. Separately, Target says the items in the shoppers' Express baskets have increased by about 20% after they partnered with the company. No organic rankings are impacted or changed.

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

The Shopping Actions program allows its customers to make purchases through search and the Google Assistant. Recently, the company updated its Lens tool to recognize landmarks, products from photos, and contact info from business cards.

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