Google has added a raft of marketplace type features to their paid search offering with Google Shopping Actions. They’ve added new ways for buyers to purchase on Google Assistant and in Google Search and for merchants there’s the attractiveness of only paying for a successful sale. It’s a commission based program, but a pay per click or pay per impression plan.
So far, Google Shopping Actions only appear to be surfaced in the US, but doubtless they will roll out worldwide in the future.
Google say that consumers don’t just want answers; more and more, they’re craving relevant, meaningful, and immediate assistance in completing their day-to-day shopping tasks. A common Google search today starts “where to buy” and on mobile searches this grew over 85% over the past 2 years. Google also revealed that 44% of those who use their voice-activated speaker at least weekly say they use the device to order products they need like groceries and household items at least once a week.
With this in mind Google want to remove friction from shopping and allow consumers to shop wherever and however they want – from making decisions on what to buy, to building baskets, to checking out quickly. You would be forgiven for translating this to “Google doesn’t want to send shoppers to Amazon or eBay, Google want shoppers to complete the sale on Google”.
Google’s Shopping Actions program gives customers an easy way to shop on Google Assistant and Search with a universal cart, whether they’re on mobile, desktop or even a Google Home device. Shopping Actions appear within the sponsored Shopping Unit on the Google Search page, and on Google Shopping. No organic rankings are impacted or changed.
If Google can enable shopping and make it just as easy for shoppers compared to shopping on a marketplace and add shopping to Google Assistant (which of course includes Google Home voice shopping), then this puts them into direct competition with Amazon and eBay.
At the start Google Shopping Actions will only be available to some of the very largest merchants – those that already compete head on with marketplaces. As the program rolls out more widely however, marketplaces could see contraction as shoppers start to complete their purchases on Google and at a guess it may be unlikely that Google will want to give marketplaces access to Google Shopping Actions or that marketplaces will want to pay commissions – it’s more likely it will remain a program for retailers to sell direct to consumers.
Is this the ‘Google Marketplace’ that online sellers have been theorising about for years? It may well be.
Google Shopping Actions Features
Surface Google’s products on new platforms like the Google Assistant with voice shopping.
Leverage our deep investments in machine learning, AI and natural language processing to offer your customers a hands-free, voice-driven shopping experience.
Help your customers shop effortlessly with you, across Google.
A shareable list, universal shopping cart and instant checkout with saved payment credentials work across Google.com and the Google Assistant, allowing your customers to seamlessly turn browsing into buying.
For example, shopper Kai can do a search on Google for moisturizing hand soap, see a sponsored listing for up & up brand soap from Target, and add it to a Google Express cart. Later, in the kitchen, Kai can reorder foil through voice, add it to the same cart using Google Home, and purchase all items at once through a Google-hosted checkout flow.
Increase loyalty and engagement with your highest value customers.
1-click re-ordering, personalized recommendations, and basket-building turn one-time shoppers into repeat customers.
If Kelly does a search for “peach blush,” for example, and she has opted to link her Google account with her Ultamate Rewards status, we’ll recognize this and surface relevant blush results as well as related items — like makeup brushes — from Ulta Beauty to help her build a basket with her preferred retailer. If we know she regularly purchases makeup remover on a monthly basis, we’ll surface the same brand of makeup remover to her, right when she has the highest intent to re-order.
Google say that early testing indicates that participating retailers on average see an increase in total conversions at a lower cost, compared to running Shopping ads alone. They have also seen an approximately 30% average increase in basket size for merchants participating in Shopping Actions.
Sign up for Google Shopping Actions
Retailers already using Google Shopping Actions include Costco, Home Depot, Target, Ulta Beauty, Walmart and 1-800-Flowers.com.
If you’re ready to jump in and start selling with Google Shopping Actions, then visit the Shopping Actions sign up page.