Retailers can list their products on Google Search, as well as on the Google Express shopping service, and Google Assistant on mobile phones and voice devices, according to Reuters.
In exchange for Google listings and linking to retailer loyalty programs, the retailers will then pay Google a piece of each purchase.
Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco Wholesale, 1-800-FLOWERS and Ulta Beauty are among the retailers which have already signed up to Shopping Actions.
Consumers, meanwhile, get the benefit of a single Google shopping cart and instant checkout. They can, for example, look for an item on a smartphone using Google, add a retailer’s listing to their Google Express cart; when they get home later they can order more items using the Google Home smart speaker and then buy everything at once – just like they can on Amazon.
But that’s where the comparison ends, says Daniel Alegre, Google’s president for retail and shopping.
“We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail,” he explained.
“We see ourselves as part of a solution for retailers to be able to drive better transactions ... and get closer to the consumer,” he told Reuters.
Alegre explained that Shopper Actions had grown out of the observation of an 85% increase over the past two years in mobile searches asking where to buy products. But many of these ended in an Amazon purchase, according to analysts.
The new program can potentially reset that part of the purchase journey but, the Verge noted, other factors, including delivery costs and speed, ease of use, and final product price differences, then come into play.
Sourced from Reuters, The Verge; additional content by WARC staff