Google is offering a new service called Shopping Actions which will allow consumers to spot something they want in a Google search and then buy it through sponsored results alongside the organic results. The service is initially being piloted with Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco and other large chains, but will be open to smaller retailers too …

Reuters reports that retailers will pay Google a commission on each sale, rather than paying to advertise.

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, told Reuters exclusively.

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

Analysts said that the program will help retailers fight back against the dominance of Amazon.

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.

Key to this will be the existing Google Express service, which allows you to add products from different retailers into a single basket with an instant checkout process. Google will also compete with shopping via Alexa by integrating with Google Home.

For example, a shopper looking for sneakers on Google on his phone can see a retailer’s listing and add that to his Google Express cart. Later, the customer can stand in the kitchen, and use the Google Home voice device to add paper towels to the same cart and buy everything at once.

Retailers who have piloted the program say that it has increased purchases by between 20 and 35 percent.


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