Google has launched a new shopping programme in the US that allows customers to shop products using a universal Google cart.
The move is a direct challenge to Amazon's dominance within the online retail market.
Increasing shopper loyalty
Shopping Actions enables consumers to buy items from search results instantly. Users can save their payment details within their Google account, allowing them to access a universal shopping cart across products and devices as well as a Google-hosted checkout.
Retailers that partner with the programme have the opportunity to increase shopper loyalty by supporting initiatives such as one-click re-ordering and personalised recommendations. In exchange for Google listings, retailers will pay a percentage of each purchase to the company.
The programme is currently open to any US retailer, with companies such as Target, Walmart and Costco Wholesale already signed up.
An easy shopping experience
The shopping service is intended to help retailers make transactions across channels by creating an easy shopping experience for consumers.
Google research has shown that mobile searches for "where to buy" has grown by over 85% in the last two years. Furthermore, 44% of those who use their voice-activated speaker at least weekly say they use the device to order products they need at least once a week. Shopping Actions is integrated within smart speaker Google Assistant, delivery service Google Express and the company's sponsored Shopping ads.
Target has been trialling the service for 6 months, and reported that its Google Express baskets increased nearly 20% on average as a result.
Shopping Actions could help retailers better compete with Amazon by regaining ground in consumer product searches. Google product searches have often ended with customers making a purchase at Amazon, but Shopping Assistant will help to promote its partners' products.
The service will also help Google compete with Amazon. The voice element to Shopping Actions can be seen as a direct challenge to Amazon's monopoly on the smart speaker market share. Whereas Amazon has previously tied voice-based shopping to its Echo devices, making it easier for customers to shop from Amazon, Shopping Assistant via Google Assistant will enable voice-activated purchases across a range of retailers.
The service will not affect regular search results on Google.