Alphabet has now found a new way to monetize its Google search engine. The search giant already earns by displaying ads related to a search you made. Now, the company wants to earn from the shopper’s queries as well. For this, the company has partnered with big retailers like Costco Wholesale, Target, Home Depot, Ulta Beauty and Walmart, according to Reuters.
Google’s new program is called Google Shopping Actions. The company will get a cut from each purchase from the listings in Google’s organic search listings. The program was announced by Google’s President for Retail and Shopping, Daniel Alegre, in an exclusive interview with Reuters.
“We have taken a fundamentally different approach from the likes of Amazon because we see ourselves as an enabler of retail,” Alegre said. “We see ourselves as part of a solution for retailers to be able to drive better transactions … and get closer to the consumer.” Google’s latest move is inspired by the millions of image searches from avid buyers, who want to know where they can buy a certain product, the executive said.
Google’s new initiative allows the retailers to list their products not only on Google search, but also on Google’s Express shopping service and Google Assistant on mobile and other supported devices. In exchange for the listings, the search giant gets a cut on each purchase. It must be noted that this cut is different from the ads revenue that the company makes.
Google Shopping Actions will help the retailers to better pitch their products whenever a related query is put on Google search and other portals. Further, it would also help the retailers to compete with Amazon. The tech company is pitching its new service as a tool to help retailers get more sales from PCs, mobiles and devices supporting voice search. According to Alegre, the shopping-related mobile search has grown by 85% in the last two years, and the trend is expected to grow on the backs of the rising popularity of the smart speakers.
By integrating Google search on different devices, the company wants to enhance the user experience, along with driving up the sales of the partner. For instance, a shopper looking for decoration items for the home on their phone can see the listing of the same from a retailer and add that to their Express cart. Later, when in the kitchen, they remember one more item that they missed, they can use the Google Home device to add that item to the same cart, and then order all items in one go.
According to Alegre, the Google Shopping Actions program helped retailers to increase the average size of a customer’s shopping basket by 30%. According to Mary Dillon, CEO of Ulta Beauty, the average order value for their products jumped 35% after they partnered with the search giant, notes Reuters. Separately, Target says the items in the shoppers’ Express baskets have increased by about 20% after they partnered with the company.
On the other hand, Google’s new program could possibly be favoring big brands. The new program almost coincides with a “broad” core algorithm update that impacts the Google search. The update changes how Google’s core algorithm works. The company revealed that the sites that lost rankings recently did not do anything bad, rather they lost because the search giant altered the way each site would rank for certain phrases, notes SEJ.
“There’s no ‘fix’ for pages that may perform less well… There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well,” the tech firm said.
So, the sites that lost the ranking were replaced by other sites, which gained because of the update in the algorithm. And, it must be noted that Google’s latest program impacts the search results. There are chances that Google’s latest algorithm change was carried to favor the brands that partnered with Google Actions. However, as of now, nothing can be said with surety as the company hasn’t announced anything officially.
Nevertheless, Google Shopping Actions is another big initiative from Google, which has been exploring more and more ways to answer questions raised via Google search. Recently, the company updated its Lens tool to recognize landmarks, products from photos, and contact info from business cards.