Last month, Google debuted its shiny new shopping platform tool in the US.
Designed to entice customers with a personalized shopping experience (and to keep up with the competition), the tool shows tailored shopping suggestions when you’re logged into your Google account.
The feature is available on both mobile and desktop and if users visit the page when signed out, it will take them to Google’s legacy shopping page.
Despite the quick comparisons to Amazon, Google has claimed that it has no intention of becoming a retailer.
The difference between the two companies is a major one: Google doesn’t stock warehouses with product, but rather suggests appropriate retailers for shoppers that are tailored to their needs.
Retailers include but are not limited to family-friendly favourites like Boxed, Walmart, Costco, and Target.
When users search for an item via the different categories, the new site will direct users to products for sale and exclusive offers in both Google’s own store or from an assortment of third-party sellers – both online and in bricks-and-mortar stores.
The retailers have access to Google’s Merchant Centre, which enables them to make their product feed available to Google. Users are greeted by name on the new platform and can search for literally millions of goods neatly packaged into categories that range from electronics and health & beauty, to household supplies and groceries.
Products for purchase are from merchants that offer home delivery and/or pickup at a local store.
Retailers that are part of the Google platform can be accessed through Google.com, Google Shopping and Google Assistant, with plans to include Google Images and YouTube, as well. The most notable feature of the new platform – not surprisingly – is the personalized shopping suggestions that are based on a users web activity and browsing history, something that has been met with mixed reactions.
Some users may also find it more organized and easier to navigate than Amazon.
Prior to launching in the United States, Google tested the shopping platform in other parts of the world, including India – where the Merchant Centre is available in Hindi – and had largely successful launch in France.
Currently, Google Shopping results are available in English and Hindi and the next steps for the platform remain unknown at the moment, including its Canadian arrival. According to 9to5Google, the company plans to integrate its express delivery system into Google Shopping.
Furthermore, select items currently come with a “Buy with Google Guarantee” that would refund customers if the recommended retailer does not deliver on time.
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Apparently, Google’s move comes at a time when the company has been falling behind to Amazon in terms of product searches, resulting in companies moving their ad budgets from pioneer search engine Google to Amazon.
According to a handful of consumer surveys, more digital customers south of the border currently start their searches on Amazon as opposed to Google.
According to a 2017 study of 2000 consumers by market research firm Survata, 49 per cent of consumer searches begin on Amazon, as opposed to 36 per cent on other search engines and 15 percent via other retailers and Google clearly wants to change that.
Whether shoppers jump ship from Amazon to Google in the product search department will be interesting, but of course, right now, it’s too early to tell. We’ll just have to wait until it makes its way to Canada to try it out for ourselves.
Featured Image: Pixabay
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