Google Launches Shopping Actions to Help Retailers Compete With Amazon
Google announced yesterday a new service designed to help retailers take on Amazon — and give Google a cut of their sales in the process. The service, Shopping Actions (formerly known as Google Express), gives consumers an easy way to shop for retailers’ products on the Google Assistant app and search via Google Search with a universal cart, whether they’re on mobile, desktop or a Google Home device. More specifically, retailers will be able to:
- place products on Google Assistant with voice shopping;
- help customers shop effortlessly with a specific retailer across Google; and
- increase loyalty and engagement with high-value customers.
Shopping Actions uses a pay-per-sale model, meaning retailers only pay when a sale actually takes place. Shopping Actions appear within the sponsored Shopping Unit on the Google search page, and on Google.com/Shopping. No organic rankings are impacted or changed, Google said.
Total Retail's Take: This latest news from Google is getting a lot of buzz from the retail community. After all, the program offers online shoppers a universal cart whether they’re shopping on mobile, desktop or via a voice-powered device. The latter channel is especially important to retailers, given that Amazon has tied voice shopping to its Echo devices, and for now has claimed the majority of market share in smart speakers. Furthermore, consumers can't shop Walmart from an Echo, for example. Google, however, is working with a range of retailers on the new effort, including Target, Walmart, Ulta Beauty, Costco, and Home Depot. According to Google, retail partners saw the average size of a customer’s shopping basket increase by 30 percent after joining the program, and Ulta saw average order values increase 35 percent.
"Google is leveraging its power to become an ally for retailers that are feeling the push from Amazon (Target, Walmart and others)," says Bryant Goodall, digital marketing manager at Kibo, an omnichannel commerce platform provider. "With the integration of Shopping Actions, Google Assistant and Google Search, Google and others now have an environment similar to the Amazon ecosystem, with a likelihood of expansion and an opportunity to seize shoppers who are exiting that ecosystem for Amazon. The symbiosis of Amazon and Google may be changing right before our eyes."