If you ever asked Google where you can buy a pair of tennis shoes, a car, or a smart home assistant, then the recent news from the online search giant will come as quite the treat. Google is now teaming up with brick-and-mortar retailers including Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, and Ulta Beauty to make it easier than ever for you to find where you can purchase some of your favorite items.
The new initiative is being called Shopping Actions, and it allows retailers to give their customers “an easy way to shop … with a universal cart, whether they’re on mobile, desktop, or even a Google Home device.” Basically, if you now search “where to buy” on Google, you will now see products recommended from a few distinct stores, all of which will be partnered with Google in some capacity (after all, the search giant has to make money, right?).
While this new feature will certainly make it easier for you to discover where best to purchase the items that you need in your life, it also helps Google compete against Amazon. Analysts told Reuters that before this program kicked in, most customers who search “where to buy” ultimately are directed to Amazon, which is, of course, Google’s rival. But with Shopping Actions, both Google and other retailers alike could begin competing with the Seattle-based e-commerce giant.
Apparently, this new feature is already working — at least for retailers. In an AdWords blog post, Google noted that the company’s efforts of “surfacing highly relevant offers” to customers has benefited buyers and sellers alike. In fact, folks who are shopping using Shopping Actions are (likely unbeknownst to them) creating digital shopping carts that are about 30 percent larger than they would otherwise. This isn’t necessarily surprising, as Shopping Actions does indeed seem to make the ecommerce experience much simpler. For example, if you search for a pair of tennis shoes using Google on your phone, you can add it to your new Shopping Actions-powered cart. Then, if you discover that you’re out of paper towels while standing in your kitchen, you can tell your Google Home to add said towels to the same cart, and then check out with everything all at once.
So look out, Amazon. The war with Google is only just beginning, and it looks like it’s getting tougher by the day.
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