Faithful to its tenth principle ("Great isn't good enough"), Google this week unveiled plans to launch an ecommerce search engine that will enable offline retailers to sell goods online to a worldwide audience.

The hallowed tenth principle, of course, applies as much to profit and share price as it does to product perfection. No surprise, then, that Google could be onto something very big indeed with its latest stratagem - an online database where for a click-through fee retailers can list their prices, products and services.

The service, which will harness an existing inhouse technology, Google Base, could have a massive impact on other online retailers - even the likes of mighty - although the primary target market is retailers currently without an online presence.

The new service will give retailers, from minnows to mammoths, access to hundreds of millions of Google-users. In an interview with the Financial Times, the search engine's head of European business Nikesh Arora enthused: "Google Base is going to have a huge impact on retailers."

As yet no launch date or rollout plan has been announced. But as is frequently the case with Google, the overnight mushroom syndrome is likley to apply.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff