Google Connects Search, Home, Assistant Purchases Through Shopping Actions

Google's Shopping Actions feature could help retail chains keep customers

Google's Shopping Actions feature could help retail chains keep customers

- Shoppers will be able to find products from participating retailers through new platforms such as Google Assistant, which offers "voice shopping" (similar to Amazon's Alexa).

However, Google has now given retail partners the opportunity to use its search engine, mobile experience, AI assistant and Google Home smart devices to house and streamline consumers digital purchasing process. Google will take a cut from the retailers as part of this program which will be separate from the ad payments that retailers make to Google for sponsored listings.

Companies who have signed up so far include Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, and Ulta Beauty.

The current default choice for many consumers is a Google search that ends with an Amazon purchase, analysts said. The two services, along with Google Express, are linked by a new universal shopping cart.

"We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail", he explained.

Google's Shopping Actions feature makes it easier to buy what you shop for.

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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.

"It's clear that people want helpful, personal, and frictionless interactions that allow them to shop wherever and however they want - from making decisions on what to buy, to building baskets, to checking out more quickly than ever before", Google said. The same customer can then order something like foil through a voice-enabled device and then purchased both items at once through a checkout flow hosted by Google.

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. Target reported that the size of customers Google Express checkout carts increased by almost 20 percent since partnering.

So far, Google Shopping Actions only appear to be surfaced in the United States, but doubtless they will roll out worldwide in the future. The tech company is pitching its new service as a tool to help retailers get more sales from PCs, mobiles and devices supporting voice search.

Smart voice devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home will be installed in 55 percent of USA households by 2022, according to Juniper Research.

Both Walmart and Target past year struck deals to appear in search results via Google Home.

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