GOOGLE HAS announced partnerships to enable a "where can I buy…." query in searches, with a particular focus on Google Assistant (of course).
Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco and Ulta Beauty have all agreed to give Google a commission from purchases made, including those from Google Home devices and its Google Express shopping service.
The advantages of that are two-fold for Google.
Firstly, it allows it to move to an even closer service to that of Amazon Alexa. What Google has in search infrastructure, Amazon has in retail infrastructure, so for Google, third party help is important.
It will also bridge some of the gap caused by the EU ruling that Google must let other shopping services advertise in its Google Shopping search results.
As such, given that Google Express is yet to launch in Blighty, and the EU ruling was so strict, it's quite likely that we won't see this rolling out here, at least in this form, anytime soon.
But with many product searches on Google giving Amazon listings as the top-of-page-one result, this is a way for Google to get a bit of that particular pie back.
According to Reuters, Google partners saw the size of their ‘basket' sales increase by an average 30 per cent, with Ulta Beauty hitting 35 per cent - so that's over a third.
"We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail," Daniel Alegre, Google's president for retail and shopping said.
"We see ourselves as part of a solution for retailers to be able to drive better transactions ... and get closer to the consumer."
Meanwhile, for stores like Target (for our UK readers, think out-of-time style supermarket with bigger non-food to food ratio), there are extra bonuses for Google-shoppers.
"This is just the beginning for Target and Google," said Target's Chief Information and Digital Officer added.
"Target shoppers will soon be able to link their online account and loyalty card with their Google accounts and get five percent off on purchases and free shipping." µ
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