Google set to cash in on product searches

A man checks Google devices outside its booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain. | REUTERS

Google's partners in the new program include Costco, Walmart, Home Depot, Target, and Ulta Beauty.

Google announced this morning a new plan to help retailers take on Amazon - and give Google a cut of their sales in the process.

Google say that consumers don't just want answers; more and more, they're craving relevant, meaningful, and immediate assistance in completing their day-to-day shopping tasks.

Changing the query to "where can I buy" doesn't serve any Amazon results. "How do I transact?"

The company said over the past two years, mobile searches for "where to buy" jumped over 85 percent, and 44 percent of people who use their voice-activated speaker weekly use it at least once a week to order items they need like groceries and household supplies.

Other online retailers have recognized this competition problem and so has the middleman Google.

The new approach is different from what retailers usually have to pay when accessing Google ads.

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"We see ourselves as part of a solution for retailers to be able to drive better transactions. and get closer to the consumer", he told Reuters.

This unified shopping experience will let customers save their payment details and then make purchases from participating retailers with instant checkout. The same customer can then order something like foil through a voice-enabled device and then purchased both items at once through a checkout flow hosted by Google.

Shopping Actions is launching in the USA and will eventually be open to retailers big and small, but we don't yet know when. Ulta sells makeup and skin care products from brands such as MAC, Estee Lauder and Clinique.

For instance, during the past six months, Target has seen the size of its guests' Google Express baskets on average increase by almost 20%.Ulta Beauty's average order value on Google Express rose 35% since 2016.

Both Walmart and Target past year struck deals to appear in search results via Google Home.

By 2022, it is expected that over half of all United States households will have either an Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or other smart voice device. Further, it would also help the retailers to compete with Amazon. Mike McNamara, Target's chief digital and information officer, said: "Our guests love the ease and convenience of making their Target Run without lifting a finger by using voice interface". "This is just the beginning for Target and Google", he added.

"Google got the idea for the partnership from its users" behavior.

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