Google has introduced numerous retailing iterations over the years, including Google Express, Google Shopping Actions and even buy buttons, but the search giant is hoping its latest version of Google Shopping finally provides the frictionless experience required to keep consumers on the site.
The newly redesigned Google Shopping homepage, launched in the U.S. in mid-July, is personalized by shopper browsing history and provides access to “millions of products from thousands of stores,” according to a May blog post from Surojit Chattarjee, VP, Product Management, Google Shopping.
Google presents shoppers with products, separated by category, that are available for purchase from partner retailers offering home delivery and/or pickup at a local store. Upon clicking a category, shoppers also can filter results based on features or brands, read product reviews and even watch product videos.
With the revamped platform, Google aims to take back product search share from Amazon, which has continued to dominate that area despite Google’s overall search supremacy. Nearly half (46.7%) of U.S. Internet users started product searches on Amazon, compared with 34.6% who went to Google first, according to a May 2018 Adeptmind survey.
The move also appears designed to extend beyond traditional product search into voice search, especially given that the AI-powered Google Assistant already is integrated into Google Shopping Actions.
“Voice search is the future of product fulfillment, and Shopping Actions will allow Google Assistant to answer and complete voice queries,” said Japhia Mangan, Account Director at Adlucent in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “For Google to get more advertisers signed up for Shopping Actions, it is vital to grow consumer usage and traffic to the platform. Google is taking measures to secure its long-term ability to compete in voice search and voice shopping fulfillment.”
Google will not start warehousing or shipping products as part of the service, but it will offer the “Buy with Google Guarantee” on select products, providing refunds to customers if they do not receive a timely and accurate delivery.
Retailers and consumer direct brands that are part of the Google Shopping platform can be reached through Google.com and Google Assistant. Plans are in place to give shoppers access through Google Images and YouTube as well.
Google already has tested the shopping platform in a few countries, including France, but has now rolled it out officially in its biggest potential market, the U.S.
The Express marketplace, originally launched in 2013 as a delivery service, will be phased out and integrated with Google Shopping over the next few months.
Google Unveils Personalized Shopping Portal, Sets Sights On Amazon’s Product Search Share