Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Google makes push to turn product searches into cash with retail tie-up

Google makes push to turn product searches into cash with retail tie-up

Shopping Actions expands upon the company's existing Google Express e-commerce portal for buying products from leading retailers.

Target, beauty retailer Ulta, and 1-800-Flowers had piloted this new function with Google.

Under a new program, 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. "Where can I find it?"

People shop on Google.

Consumers can save their payment information and make purchases from retailers with instant checkout. When you search for an item, such as toothpaste, you'll see a sponsored listing for an option from one of Google's partners and be able to add it to a Google Express cart.

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When consumers are in the market for a new product, Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google is routinely one of the first stops.

"We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail", said Daniel Alegre, Google's president for retail and shopping, in an interview with Reuters. Over the past two years, mobile searches asking where to buy products soared by 85 percent. It also depends on whether Shopping Actions can really be a "seamless shopping experience" like retailers and Google are hoping it will be.

Google has already tested this with some partners and has seen an approximately 30 percent average increase in basket size.

A study conducted with MasterCard among five merchants participating in Shopping Actions shows a customer spent more with that group of merchants in the four-month period following the integration. Ulta sells makeup and skin care products from brands such as MAC, Estee Lauder and Clinique. Target reported that the size of customers Google Express checkout carts increased by almost 20 percent since partnering.

Google hopes that this would lead to increased purchases across a wider range of devices including smart home devices with voice search, which are not now one of the key devices being used to purchase products online. Especially since it's anticipated that 55 per cent of American homes will have some sort of smart speaker by 2022, and Alexa herself is expected to generate $10 billion worth of revenue by 2020. Further, it would also help the retailers to compete with Amazon. Target shoppers will soon be able to link their online account and loyalty card with their Google accounts and get 5 percent off on purchases and free shipping, McNamara said.

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