Google strives to turn product searches into cash

REUTERS

"We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail", Google retail chief Daniel Alegre told Reuters.

But with many product searches on Google giving Amazon listings as the top-of-page-one result, this is a way for Google to get a bit of that particular pie back.

Shopping Actions expands upon the company's existing Google Express e-commerce portal for buying products from leading retailers.

The new service could help such retailers take advantage of Google's voice assistant-based shopping services, so they can better defend themselves against Amazon's advances in this space.

Companies already pay Google (googl) in order to place ads on its platform, and to run campaigns on Google Shopping. Target, which has been live for 6 months, says its Google Express shopping baskets increased almost 20 percent, on average.

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Some of the biggest US retailers are reportedly already on board with Google Shopping Actions, including Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT), Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) and Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT). Search engines like Google gained ground on Amazon past year, as the second place USA shoppers went first when looking for products online, Bloomberg reported.

According to Reuters, Google partners saw the size of their "basket" sales increase by an average 30 per cent, with Ulta Beauty hitting 35 per cent - so that's over a third.

By 2022, it is expected that over half of all U.S. households will have either an Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or other smart voice device. Mind you, it wasn't a small number of consumers either, rather tens of millions of people. Since there has been no official announcement from Google and Google's own public search liaison Danny Sullivan voicing doubts, at this point in seems unlikely that Google's regular search will be affected.

Complementing the feature set is a capability that will enable retailers to integrate Shopping Actions with their rewards programs.

Regardless of how big Google wins with Google Shopping Actions, Amazon is likely to come out as the loser.

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