The strategy is aimed at allowing more shopping opportunities on the search giant’s various properties as the e-commerce boom, super-charged by the pandemic, looks set to see continued record growth.
The global e-commerce market is estimated by analysts EMarketer to be worth around $4.89 trillion in 2021. Amazon remains the #1 online shopping destination in the US and its growing third-party seller and ads businesses are seen as a threat to Google’s core search-based business model.
Google’s parent, Alphabet, announced that sellers using Square, GoDaddy and WooCommerce will be able to sell more easily via Google search, Google Maps and Google-owned YouTube.
Google is adding Shopify’s payments tool, Shop Pay, as a choice for buyers. Google plans to offer buying options in more prominent positions on its sites to generate more e-commerce traffic.
Google has had a number of forays into e-commerce over the last decade, including offering delivery and deals with retailers. Few projects were judged successful. Last year, the search giant hired former PayPal exec Bill Ready to captain its e-commerce drive. Ready early on ended the fee Google charged merchants to list on its shopping service – over the past 12 months, Google has seen an 80% increase in merchants, including what it describes as “significant growth” among small and medium-sized businesses.
“Consumers can now buy direct online, on social media, on a search, on video, on maps -- that is the future of retail. Entirely about consumer choice. Google owns the majority of those digital town squares, and that’s where consumers are spending time” – Harley Finkelstein, president, Shopify