Google Search & Assistant Now Selling Products Directly

Through the Shopping Actions program, retailers pay Google a percentage of each purchase through a pay-per-sale model, rather than when the item serves up in search results.

This project is US-only for the time being, with Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, and Ulta on board.

Under siege from Amazon's push into search and advertising, Google Monday began rolling out a feature that allows consumers to make purchases through Google search and Google Assistant.

"Shopper Kai can do a search on Google for moisturizing hand soap, see a listing for up & up brand soap from Target, and add it to a Google Express cart", the company said as an example of how the service works. This is completely separate from any compensation that Google would receive for ads from the retailers, and listings under the program will appear under sponsored results and not interfere with regular search results.

The new approach is different from what retailers usually have to pay when accessing Google ads. "We see ourselves as part of a solution for retailers to be able to drive better transactions. and get closer to the consumer". According to its data, mobile searches for "where to buy" grew over 85% over the past two years.

Google say that consumers don't just want answers; more and more, they're craving relevant, meaningful, and immediate assistance in completing their day-to-day shopping tasks.

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. The new program called Shopping Actions plans to solve this issue and give customers more choice. This large and rapidly growing market reach could put the company in a strong position to take some share away from Amazon, which itself has challenged Google's search dominance because so many people go directly to Amazon.com to search for products. Target reported that the size of customers Google Express checkout carts increased by almost 20 percent since partnering.

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. Further, it would also help the retailers to compete with Amazon.

"This is just the beginning for Target and Google", said Target's Chief Information and Digital Officer added.

"Google got the idea for the partnership from its users" behavior.


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