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Google Set to Make Money from Product Searches

The US technology company is teaming up with retailers including Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco Wholesale and Ulta Beauty.

Under a new program, retailers can list their products on Google Search, as well as on the Google Express shopping service, and Google Assistant on mobile phones and voice devices.

 

 

In exchange for Google listings and linking to retailer loyalty programs, the retailers pay Google a piece of each purchase, which is different from payments that retailers make to place ads on Google platforms.

Google’s pitch to retailers is a better chance to influence shoppers’ decisions, amove that is likely to help them compete with rival Amazon.com. Google hopes the program helps retailers capture more purchases on desktop, cell phones and smart home devices with voice search — the next frontier for ecommerce.

The previously unreported initiative sprang from Google’s observation that tens of millions of consumers were sending image searches of products, asking “Where can I buy this?” “Where can I find it?” “How can I buy it?” “How do I transact?” Daniel Alegre, Google’s president for retail and shopping said.

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

But the current default choice for many consumers is a Google search that ends with an Amazon purchase, analysts said. The new Google program, Shopping Actions, will be available in the United States to retailers of all sizes and could help retail chains keep those customers.

“We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail,” Alegre said. “We see ourselves as part of a solution for retailers to be able to drive better transactions... and get closer to the consumer.” – Reuters

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