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29 March 2021
Google digs deep in e-commerce war
E-commerce & mobile retailWebsites, online services, appsUnited States
As it tries to establish itself as a major e-commerce player, Google is presenting itself as cheaper than Amazon, and also willing to drive consumer traffic direct to independent traders’ sites.
Why it matters
Despite its actions, Google is finding it tough to break US consumers’ tendency to turn straight to Amazon when they go online shopping, reports The New York Times.
Over the last year, as demand for online shopping rocketed because of the pandemic, Google scrapped fees for merchants and now allows sellers to list their products free. It’s also trying to appeal to smaller shops by teaming up with e-commerce platform Shopify and allowing product inventory to appear in Google search results.
But the push to win business has struggled, observers say. Estimates suggest product sales through Google probably amount to around $1bn, a drop in the bucket compared to the $295bn passing through Amazon last year
Marketers, too, are increasingly turning to Amazon – its global advertising business was up 30% in 2020, behind only Google and Facebook in the US.
Even so, Google says it increased the number of sellers appearing in its results by 80% last year, and the biggest growth was from small and medium-sized Also, existing retailers are listing more of their products.
“When all shopping starts and stops at Amazon, that’s bad for the industry. It’s nice to have another 800-pound tech gorilla in this space” – Jonathan E. Johnson, chief executive of Overstock.com, an online discount furniture and bedding store.