As a response to Amazon, Google’s new umbrella program will widen existing relationships with retails. It will also enable comprehensive checkout across platforms and devices. Google has been focusing on retail challenges for some time. The major issues are:-
- How to make mobile shopping through its properties like Search quicker?
- How to maintain market share for product search in a breaking mobile landscape of digital assistants and applications?
- How to compete with Amazon, the major threat to product search coming from Google.
All these factors relate to how to make more money from product searches.
Recently, Google announced a new effort known as Shopping Actions which builds on existing programs and pairs its product search, mobile shopping, inter-device transactions and voice search initiatives. The program indicates Google’s existing partnerships with Target and Walmart in order to support shopping through Google Express and Google Assistant. Google extends it to other retailers also.
More than 40 retailers have already taken part in Google Express which offers shopping incentives and check-out through a mobile wallet and ads which appear on Google Shopping. Now Google will be able to track the products of those retailers for buying products, including the ones on Google Home through Google Assistant.
Shopping Actions runs across all of these products and features a universal shopping cart across devices and products and a Google-hosted checkout when users save their payment information in their Google accounts. Users can also share their shopping lists.
Google charges retailers a cost-per-sale basis for Shopping Actions rather than the traditional cost-per-ad-click basis of regular search, as first reported by Reuters. It’s not clear what that cut is or how it’s structured, but retailers want to pay for sales not, just exposure. This also reflects Amazon’s own cost structure of taking a percentage of a sale.At the end of December, Google conducted a test in which it prominently displayed Google Express in search results with a banner located on the top and a new Express icon in the ads. The icon seems to have rolled out.
It would seem that Shopping Actions can replace, or at least surpass Purchases on Google which was Google’s first initiative for improving mobile shopping experiences from search results. Google has made a very slow progress and faced implementation related problems. In comparison, Google Express on the other hand has been rapidly growing, spreading beyond the largest of big box retailers to e-commerce merchants like Target and Woodland Direct.