Will Google’s new shopping platform steal product searches away from Amazon?

Discussion
Source: Amazon Shopping
Jul 23, 2019
George Anderson

Amazon.com has become the de facto starting point for product searches for a growing number of consumers as the site’s reach extends with its expanding base of Prime shoppers. But Google, the leader in all other things search related, is looking to push back against Amazon’s advances with the launch of its own shopping platform.

Originally announced in May, Google Shopping includes a personalized home page for Google members that provides access to millions of products via tabs distinguished by category.

After clicking a tab, Google presents shoppers with products separated by category that are available for purchase from merchants that offer home delivery and/or pickup at a local store. Google backs up each purchase with a guarantee that it will refund purchases that arrive late or have other issues, such as delivery of the wrong product.

Retailers and consumer direct brands that are part of the Google platform can be reached through Google.com, Google Shopping and Google Assistant. Plans are in place to give shoppers access through Google Images and YouTube, as well.

Google, TechRadar reports, has tested its new shopping platform (with apparent success) in markets including France before launching in the U.S.

Ultimately, Google’s shopping plan is as much tied, if not more, to advertising revenues as it is to establishing a rival platform to Amazon and others. Google has seen ad dollars flow to Amazon as consumers use the e-tail giant’s site to search for products for immediate or future purchase. 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the biggest value for retailers and consumer direct brands that are part of the Google Shopping platform? Do you think the new shopping platform and its integration with other parts of the Google ecosystem will help the tech giant capture a significant percentage of brand and product searches from Amazon?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"When trying to steal market share away at this level it is not price that Google will need to compete over, it’s convenience."
"It will be a monstrous job to capture a large percentage of Amazon traffic. This may be a start, but I think Google will need to find something exciting and new..."
"Google would be better off concentrating on companies that provide services."

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14 Comments on "Will Google’s new shopping platform steal product searches away from Amazon?"


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Art Suriano
BrainTrust

Whenever any business finds enormous success, others will attempt to gain a piece of the pie. Amazon has been the frontrunner for years as other retailers have tried to compete with them in a variety of ways. However, another competitor going more head-to-head with Amazon was only a matter of time. Moreover, for the consumer, the Google shopping platform will be an alternative, one that will start with customer curiosity, and if the experience is successful, Google will build a loyal customer base. Competition is healthy and brings success when a business does everything right giving the customer a memorable experience. I see this as an excellent opportunity for Google, consumers, and retailers partnering with this new venture. It won’t put Amazon out of business, and at best will maybe make a dent in their business, but competition often leads to new services, offers, and exceptional consumer opportunities. It will be interesting to watch and see what happens.

Joel Goldstein
BrainTrust

When trying to steal market share away at this level it is not price that Google will need to compete over, it’s convenience. Amazon has built their brand on a simple delivery model combined with everything you can imagine at low prices. If Google is going to compete, they will need to do it via advertising focused on a better logistics model than Amazon… Not an easy job.

Heidi Sax
BrainTrust

I agree, Joel. It’s going to be hard to beat Amazon on convenience. Most shoppers are happy with the platform, and it’s hard to imagine that changing.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

If anybody is in a position to take on Amazon as a shopping platform, it has to be Google. Good news/bad news … just think of of the treasure trove of date that Google is sitting on. Who knows what kind of algorithms they can come up with to streamline your shopping experience? And who knows what kind of algorithms they can come up with to inundate you with ad after ad after ad? (Shudder.) And how will they compete with Prime? Lots of hurdles here. Lots for Google to prove in the war for eyeballs and clicks.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

Google is a surveillance company masquerading as a search engine. Only the truly naive will trust Google as a shopping platform.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

It will be a monstrous job to capture a large percentage of Amazon traffic. This may be a start, but I think Google will need to find something exciting and new to offer on their platform to really get the consumer’s attention. Their guarantees with this program are smart, and integrating consumer search histories will help. But it will be very hard to to break the habit of the consumers automatically going to Amazon. That will require something very innovative, special and new.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

Google is a force to be reckoned with as it is, along with Amazon, the leader for product search, discovery and now with its shopping platform, a place to drive conversions. While Google has not advertised and publicized at an “Amazonian” level, the data and insights global giant is a sleeping giant that is about to flex its commerce muscles.

The global search giant has a footprint across not only search/discovery, but also communications, office productivity, photos, storage, mapping, product reviews, travel and an integrated shipping platform. Commerce 24/7 is a natural evolution of the Google brand, and will make everything quite interesting over the next few years.

Shikha Jain
BrainTrust

There is one macro question: How will Google be better than Amazon?
Will it be faster? Will it be easier? Will it have more offerings? Will it have more or more accurate information?
From what I’ve understood, it is not clear what Google’s search platform value proposition is that will differentiate it from Amazon. I’m open to being proven wrong.

Bob Andersen
Guest

Consumers are realizing that Amazon is not always the lowest price. Even trying to find the lowest price on Amazon can be frustrating. E.g. search “Polar water bottle” on Amazon and look at the mismash of results. If Google can find better deals than you see on Amazon, and present them clearly, then it will gain market share. And since Google has the best search capability, “finding” better deals is quite likely.

Cynthia Holcomb
BrainTrust

Checking in on Google Shopping this morning, so far, most products are from Target and Best Buy with a scattered offering of third-party sellers. Very limited inventory. Google Shopping requires a shopper to use the tedious specification filters, as does Amazon. Undoubtedly, Google has tremendous individualized data about each of us. Yet today, after being greeted by name, my search results lacked any type of product personalization. Shopping is individually preferential to a multitude of sensory aspects. Both Amazon and Google define personalization as segmentation. Google Shopping will be more of the same without the benefit of the Amazon inventory. A new way to gain ad revenue under the guise of shopping.

Harley Feldman
BrainTrust

Google will provide a new shopping outlet for consumers which will increase competition and keep the lid on prices. The good news is retailers and direct brands will have access to Internet users who use Google for their search engine (93 percent of search users) every time they search for something. The bad news is the increased competition and possible lower prices. Over time, Google will eat somewhat into Amazon sales. However, Amazon is such a powerful brand having almost every product sold in retail as an expectation for consumers that Google will have a hard time eating into the Amazon share. Google would be better off concentrating on companies that provide services.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

Google entering the product search and marketplace arena is nothing new. Who remembers Froogle from years ago? The debut of a new version of this is important however – particularly because Google/Alphabet is a much stronger powerhouse globally. The potential for Google’s success starts abroad – particularly in EMEA, and the nature of their testing in France suggests this is capitalizing on more than Amazon’s local presence. In the U.S. we may see some exciting competitive back and forth all to the benefit of the consumer. Google can understand the customer better – but it’s not clear yet that will be enough of an advantage to push Amazon’s marketing machine out of the way. It may also open the door to new marketplace players. For Amazon, it’s just another Day 1.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

Can Google do it? If so, they can be one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, and that could be good for everyone. Amazon has always been an innovator and very customer-focused. Perhaps this level of competition will push Amazon even further, which will only be better for Amazon’s customers. I look forward to seeing how this plays out.

Josh Clouser
Guest

The value proposition that Google offers are inline pricing options from big box retailers, something which Amazon wants to shield from the consumer to retain their business. Google’s biggest obstacle will be changing consumer habits of either an Amazon first mentality or thinking of Google in its classic sense as only a search engine. Consumers will still be after convenience and quick delivery, something which Google won’t have control of unless they were to have product at their own DCs, giving Amazon a higher comparative value proposition.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"When trying to steal market share away at this level it is not price that Google will need to compete over, it’s convenience."
"It will be a monstrous job to capture a large percentage of Amazon traffic. This may be a start, but I think Google will need to find something exciting and new..."
"Google would be better off concentrating on companies that provide services."

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