Google will now let users buy items through Assistant and search

REUTERS

Google, which already makes money when you search for anything on its service, will now turn a shopper's query into revenue as well. The retailers will pay Google a piece of each purchase in exchange for their stores and products showing up on Google listings and being linked to retailers' loyalty programs. The service is initially being piloted with Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco and other large chains, but will be open to smaller retailers too ...

Google and the big-box retailers are teaming up on a new program in which those companies can have their products listed on Google Search, the Google Express shopping service, and the Google Assistant app on mobile phones and voice devices.

As Search Engine Journal noted in a follow-up article, there are several questions that remain unanswered, such as whether retailers partnering with Google in this program will see their sites gain more prominence in Google's search results, whether those sites will be clearly labelled as those of paid partners, and whether Google will steer users towards the cheapest products. "Where can I find it?" "How do I transact?"

Over the past two years, mobile searches asking where to buy products soared by 85 percent, Alegre said.

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The current default choice for many consumers is a Google search that ends with an Amazon purchase, analysts said. But they buy on Amazon.

According to early results, the program has boosted the average size of customer's shopping baskets at the partnering retailers by 30%. "We see ourselves as part of a solution for retailers to be able to drive better transactions. and get closer to the consumer". It also depends on whether Shopping Actions can really be a "seamless shopping experience" like retailers and Google are hoping it will be.

Smart voice devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home will be installed in 55 percent of USA households by 2022, according to Juniper Research, as pointed out by Reuters. Target, which has been live for 6 months, says its Google Express shopping baskets increased almost 20 percent, on average.

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