Google Connects Search, Home, Assistant Purchases Through Shopping Actions

Under a new program retailers can list their products on Google Search and Google Express

Under a new program retailers can list their products on Google Search and Google Express

Daniel Alegre, President for Retail and Shopping at Google said, "The previously unreported initiative sprang from Google's observation that tens of millions of consumers were sending image searches of products, asking "Where can I buy this?"

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". Retailers hope the new program will enable them to sell more to smartphone, desktop, and smart home device owners.

Google say that early testing indicates that participating retailers on average see an increase in total conversions at a lower cost, compared to running Shopping ads alone. According to Google, the number of searches containing the phase "how to buy" grew by a staggering 85 percent in the past two years. The feature lets users buy products they've selected across the three services in one place with the help of an option to save their credit card details for easy reuse.

Google, which already makes money when you search for anything on its service, will now turn a shopper's query into revenue as well.

But the current default choice for many consumers is a Google search that ends with an Amazon purchase, analysts said. You can also speak out loud to your Google Home to add items, like tin foil, to your shopping cart.

Amit Shah of 1-800 Flowers talked about the flexibility to purchase through multiple retailers into the single cart, saying: "On Shopping Actions, you can buy something from Costco for yourself but at the same time deliver a gift from 1-800-Flowers.com to your niece who is graduating high school". Target, which has been live for 6 months, says its Google Express shopping baskets increased almost 20 percent, on average. The tech company is pitching its new service as a tool to help retailers get more sales from PCs, mobiles and devices supporting voice search. And, it must be noted that Google's latest program impacts the search results. Smart home devices are considered a very lucrative portion of e-commerce. Amazon's Alexa platform could generate $10 billion in revenues by 2020, a separate report from RBC Capital Markets estimated. Mike McNamara, Target's chief digital and information officer, said: "Our guests love the ease and convenience of making their Target Run without lifting a finger by using voice interface". The fact that it's going to be helping someone compete with Amazon is just an added bonus that benefits both sides of the deal.

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