Google’s Shopping Actions Might Level the eCommerce Playing Field

Posted on April 10, 2018

Move over Amazon, Google is now letting retailers list their products on Google Search. This new program called Shopping Actions will allow the likes of retailers such as Target, Home Depot, Costco, 1-800- Flowers, and more to get noticed on a bigger platform by indexing product catalogs for easier searchability. In exchange for a small cut of the transaction revenue, this initiative will charge retailers on a cost-per- sale model, earning revenue from sales generated from these placements. Meanwhile, customers will gain a user-friendly, personalized shopping experience that truly rivals Amazon. As rumors fly about the new program, Google insists that none of the organic rankings will be changed or impacted by Shopping Actions. But there is still speculation that favored rankings will be given to merchants in the program ahead of Amazon. After all, this is just one of Google’s efforts to position themselves ahead of Amazon when it comes to consumer product searches.

Retailers Like the Idea

So far, Google’s existing retailers are excited about the new program with many of them ramping up their efforts to take advantage of it. Of course, one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, Walmart, is eager to be seen on even more platforms like Google Express and ready to take advantage of voice recognition technology through Google Assistant’s voice shopping. Both of these newer platforms allow users to add items to a universal shopping cart for seamless shopping through all of Google platforms. As previously mentioned, the listings will always appear under “Sponsored Shopping’ results and therefore won’t be affected by organic search results.

Consumers Like the Idea, Too

Unlike shopping on Amazon for products, customers can use their retailer credit cards to get discounts and deals. For example, the Target Redcard can be used when shopping through Google for 5% off a purchase and free shipping. Customers will be able to link all their accounts into Google accounts. While most users begin their search on Amazon, Shopping Actions is changing that. The program raises the profile of participating retailers by making them stand out. With sponsored shopping results, better deals, giving consumers personalized recommendations, and allowing users to shop at multiple stores with one universal cart, Google seeks to dominate the online shopping experience. This is great for consumers because they will always find the best deal available anywhere on the web.

Voice Technology is Everything

One of the biggest differences between say, Walmart and Amazon, is that Amazon allows shoppers to use voice recognition technology when doing their shopping. Up until now, most brands like Costco, Ulta, Target, and Walmart do not yet offer voice recognition technology for their customers. Shopping Actions is changing all of this and enabling voice recognition technology enhanced by order history, and instant checkout using saved payment credentials. In essence, it’s revolutionizing the way users shop and levels the playing field against Amazon.

Insight

Google Reports show that early results show that Shopping Actions is quite promising for retailers. Those who participated in beta testing saw an average 30% increase in a customer’s shopping basket. Ulta Beauty saw an average increase by 35%, Target saw a jump of 20%. These kinds of results are truly impactful particularly for those brick-and- mortar stores who are struggling to keep up with Amazon. Now these retailers are able to stand out and shoppers can shop directly from them instead of always going to Amazon.

Google’s Goal

Google’s aim is simple and extremely clear. They want to do whatever they can to keep shoppers away from the #1 ecommerce giant by making shopping easier than ever. There’s no doubt that Shopping Actions will disrupt the marketplace, with many retailers believing this to be a very good thing.