Retailers can work with Google to ensure a search doesn’t end in an Amazon purchase.
Google makes the bulk of its money from online advertising, but the company is always looking for new ways to exploit its position as the number one search destination. Google’s latest initiative is to partner with retailers and in the process become a serious competitor to Amazon.
As Reuters reports, according to Google’s president of retail and shopping, Daniel Alegre, the search giant realized two things from online searches in recent years. The first is that tens of millions of searches include phrases such as “Where can I buy this?”, “Where can I find it?”, and “How can I buy it?” The second is that many of those searches end with a purchase on Amazon.
To counter that trend while generating a new stream of revenue, Google is offering to partner with any and all retailers. In return for a cut of the purchase price, Google will allow retailers to list their products in search results, the Google Express shopping service, and on Google Assistant. There will also be a link to retailer loyalty programs.
The partnership goes further than that, though. A shopper can add a product to their Google Express cart and then come back later and add other products from different searches and retailers. Ultimately it results in a very convenient single cart purchase containing everything they want. Even Google Home can be taken advantage of, with retailers able to offer their products through Google’s voice shopping devices.
The initiative looks to be instantly popular with retailers as Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, and Ulta Beauty have already signed up. For consumers, it’s a positive step as we will now be offered more choice when searching, but also (hopefully) better prices as more pressure will be placed on Amazon to compete with this.
For Walmart and Target, this isn’t exactly a new deal. Walmart partnered with Google in August last year for voice shopping, and Target struck a deal to use Google Assistant for purchases last October. However, this initiative looks like a major expansion of those options.