Google launched new shopping features on Tuesday that include a personalized home page and a universal shopping cart that will allow customers new opportunities to purchase directly from various parts of the Google platform.
For consumers, there are now options to make their purchase online, at a store, or directly in Google. Google Shopping ads will make it easier for consumers to choose to buy online and pick up in store, driving traffic to bricks-and-mortar locations.
The “Google guarantee” offers help from the tech giant if an item is late, isn’t exactly what was ordered, or if there’s a problem getting a refund.
And the Smart Shopping campaigns, which use machine learning to enhance performance, are getting an upgrade to make local inventory information available to customers, for those who want to make the trip to a physical store.
For sellers, there are now opportunities to appear on Google Shopping, Google.com, and Google Assistant if you’re a Shopping Actions merchant, a feature that will extend to YouTube and other parts of the Google offering.
And the Showcase Shopping platform, which makes advertisements “shoppable,” is coming to the Discover feed and, soon, YouTube. The option is available on Google Images.
“On average, we see about 80% of traffic from Showcase Shopping ads to retailer sites are from new visitors just discovering the brands,” Google said on its blog.
The Google Shopping launch comes just weeks after Instagram’s latest shopping announcement. Testing began in early May, giving “creators” that include Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Jenner, “Vogue,” “GQ” and Gigi Hadid the chance to tag the brands their wearing in images and add a caption with details. Users can shop from the tagged brands that are a part of the Checkout function. Checkout was announced March 19 and lets customers buy items without leaving the app.
For both Google and Instagram, the idea is to give users the chance to instantly have what they see online, which is also one of the key factors prompting companies like Walmart Inc.WMT, +0.76% and Amazon.com Inc.AMZN, +1.12% to provide quicker delivery times.
“No matter when people are inspired, we are committed to making the shopping experience simple, convenient and secure,” Instagram wrote in the April 30 blog post.
Google used some similar wording.
Also: Amazon’s move to one-day shipping shows the competition is catching up
“These new shopping experiences let people shop and purchase frictionlessly right where they already turn to for research and inspiration: Search, Google Images, YouTube and a redesigned Google Shopping destination,” wrote Surojit Chatterjee, vice president of product management for Google Shopping.
Google is part of the Alphabet Inc. GOOG, -0.67%GOOGL, -0.58% portfolio while Instagram is part of Facebook Inc. FB, +0.09%
The Google announcement is the latest from tech companies and retailers, who are battling for consumer shopping dollars that are now spreading even further across digital channels, stores and other shopping venues. Companies are competing not just on merchandise, but convenience
Alphabet stock is up 8.4% in 2019 while the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.18% has gained 13.7% for the period.
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