Google seeks to challenge Amazon with new Shopping Actions service

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Internet giant Google is teaming up with leading U.S. retailers in a new initiative - Shopping Actions - that aims to helps them capture more online purchases from shoppers who might otherwise head to Amazon. Moreover, merchants can give Google access to their product catalogs and display shopping recommendations directly within the search bar.

According to Reuters, Google is teaming up with Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Costco and Ultra.

The program will also offer a certain level of interactivity between Google devices, for instance, if a customer searches for a camera on Google and adds it to their Google Express cart, then later notices that they're running low on paper towels, they can add paper towels to the same Google Express shopping cart using a Google Home device and purchase both items at once.

Google's new program is called Google Shopping Actions.

"We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail", said Daniel Alegre, Google's president for retail and shopping, in an interview with Reuters.

Google says that its data reveals that mobile searchers for "where to buy" surged by 85 percent over the past two years.

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Shopping Actions, Google said, allows retailers to present new products on any of its platforms, including through voice shopping; "Help your customers shop effortlessly with you" through shareable shopping lists, universal shopping carts, and reward and engage with their "highest-value customers".

People shop on Google.

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.

Instead of asking Google or the Google Assistant, "Where can I buy this", and then ultimately making the purchase on Amazon, Google's new service makes it simple to buy it from one of its partners like Target or Walmart. And, it must be noted that Google's latest program impacts the search results. 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.

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

McNamara added: "Shoppers will soon be able to link their Target.com and Google accounts, creating a more personalized and intuitive shopping experience".

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