Google wants to be everything to everyone. One area where it’s attempting to move into is shopping. In early July, Google confirmed it was going to focus on growing its Shopping Express service.
Originally released in 2013, Shopping Express allows you to order goods from nearby stores and have them delivered within a couple of days. This has got people talking because it has left people wondering where it leaves eCommerce, and especially platforms like Amazon.
Why Google is Going Retail?
It’s not complicated to understand why Google has moved to eCommerce. And it has nothing to do with helping customers. What Google doesn’t like is Amazon’s dominance in product searches. For most customers, it’s the go-to place. Google wants to be the dominant platform for product searches.
The main reason for this is because it would mean more advertising money gained from customers. Google’s advertising revenue is based on the number of searches, so it’s missing out on areas where it can make money.
With eMarketer predicting $4.2 billion USD will be spent on ads by companies in 2014, Google has a lot to gain by successfully becoming associated with shopping.
What is Shopping Express?
If you’ve never heard of Shopping Express before, you’re in good company. Like Google+, Shopping Express has failed to compete with its big competitors in its opening months. The service is designed to make Google a middle man between your favourite stores and you. They will become a delivery company and transport goods from businesses to you, for a price.
It’s succeeded in dealing with major retailers, including Target and Walgreens. Retailers will always want to partner up with Google. Here are the three most important things you need to know about Shopping Express, though:
- Reports state Google could spend up to $500 million to promote the services.
- Google will copy Amazon Prime when the service begins to catch on.
- Google is attempting to compete in an area Amazon is moving into: grocery delivery.
Competing with Amazon
Amazon isn’t a total threat to Google. Amazon doesn’t rely on ads and they’re based in retail. Google wants to compete with them in the product search market only. To do this, they will have to make gains in the mobile product searches market. This has become much harder since Amazon introduced an app to help people look up products on their phones and compare prices by scanning the barcodes of items.
Google has also failed to convince Amazon to purchase product listing ads on its service. This is something eBay and Zappos do already. Amazon relies entirely on organic search results and direct customer contact.
Where does the Future of eCommerce Lie?
Although there are no guarantees Google will succeed, it’s unwise to underestimate it. Google+ initially failed to become anything more than a minor social media network. After reinventing itself, this changed and it’s now one of the big social media platforms of the Internet.
Google pretends as if Shopping Express is designed to satisfy an impatient audience, but it’s not. The fact is Amazon is still the most efficient service. They offer faster delivery times and more efficient search mechanisms.
Google has a lot of ground to make up if it’s going to realistically compete with Amazon and claim those lucrative ad revenue streams.
Damaging Other eCommerce Sites
There’s a high chance Google’s activities will harm other eCommerce websites. This is because as Google’s influence increases it will become almost essential for online stores to partner with or pay Google in some way.
What we don’t yet know is exactly how it will hurt other online stores or how these stores should react if Google’s Shopping Express service happens to take off.
Reference - Sitepronews