Amazon has a pretty solid hold on the retail industry, and for some companies it's been basically impossible to compete with the convenience and relatively low prices Amazon can offer. Just ask Toys R Us. But according to a new report from Reuters, Google is assembling a retail superteam that will see a number of large retailers index their listings on Google search for the world to find.
The official line isn't that this is Google continuing its stupid feud with Amazon, nor is it doing it out of the goodness of its own heart. Any retailers involved will likely get increased exposure in search rankings and on Google Home devices that can help generate sales, and for being so helpful Google will get a cut of those sales. The fact that it's going to be helping someone compete with Amazon is just an added bonus that benefits both sides of the deal.
Apparently this whole idea stems from the fact people were using Google search to look up images and ask where they could buy certain products. Tens of millions of people to be more precise, and even a small slice of their eventual sales would do wonders for Google's revenue. Plus, with Google claiming most people end up defaulting to Amazon eventually anyway, extra exposure for everyone else is an excellent incentive to take part.
Getting their products on Google Home is also bound to be of interest, especially since it's the only real competitor Amazon has in the assistant-enabled devices sector. Alexa only lets you shop from Amazon (naturally), so teaming up with Google is the obvious choice. Especially since it's anticipated that 55 per cent of American homes will have some sort of smart speaker by 2022, and Alexa herself is expected to generate $10 billion worth of revenue by 2020.
Plus, seeing as how Google's Express shopping system, which integrated Google Assistant with US retailer Target, saw a 20 per cent increase in purchases the partnership isn't that much of a risk.
This project is US-only for the time being, with Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco, and Ulta on board. But seeing as how two of those companies have strong presences here in the UK (and around the world) it's probably not going to be long before the rollout expands. [Reuters]