Google Launches Shopping Actions to Compete with Amazon
This morning Google announced a new plan to help retailers in the battle against Amazon and to help themselves in the new voice shopping battleground. The new Shopping Actions programs allows retailers to list their products on Google Search, the Google Express shopping service and the Google Assistant on mobile phones and other enabled devices like Google Home. And unlike Google AdWords which is a pay-per-click model, the Shopping Action service only takes a cut when an actual sale takes place. The new actions will appear on the sponsored Shopping Unit of Google Search pages as well as on Google.com/Shopping. According to Google, organic rankings will not be impacted or changed.
A Universal Cart for Frictionless Shopping
Target, Walmart, Ulta Beauty, Costco and Home Depot are just a few of the retailers that have already signed up for Shopping Actions. These retailers also conveniently are the in same product groups where Amazon showed significant growth in 2017 according to One Click Retail. Luxury beauty purchases grew 47% from 2016, followed by pantry items at 38% and grocery by 33%.
The Shopping Action program will give Google and its retail partners new tools to compete against the retail giant in these categories as it gives online shoppers access to a “universal cart”, whether they are shopping on their desktop, mobile phone or through a voice-first device. But perhaps the biggest draw is the ability to compete with Amazon in the voice shopping space, where it has exclusive access to consumers on any Alexa-enabled devices as well as the largest smart speaker market share.
Voice Shopping is the Next Commerce Battleground
Voice shopping is a growing new habit among consumers. The Voicebot Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report found that 26% of smart speaker owners had tried voice shopping at least once, while nearly 12% claim to make purchases by voice monthly. Target, which joined Google Express just six months ago, is already seeing results from giving consumers the ability to shop by voice. According to Google’s announcement this morning, Target has seen the baskets of those that use the Google Express feature increase by 20%. Target’s Chief Information and Digital Officer credits it to the ease of voice shopping:
“Our guests love the ease and convenience of making their Target Run without lifting a finger by using voice interface. And since the orders are shipped from a nearby Target store, they’ll have their items delivered to their home in just two days.”
Increasing the ease in which consumers can complete their day-to-day shopping tasks is already helping retailers like Target increase their sales. Considering that voice shopping is nearly as frictionless as a shopping experience can be (once the user has an account set up), it is easy to see why so many retailers are seeing voice shopping as the next commerce battleground. And by partnering with Google and Google Assistant, they might just be able to keep Amazon from dominating this new battleground completely.