Google Teams Up with Retail Giants on New Shopping Program

Google launches Shopping Actions in the US
Google launches Shopping Actions in the US

Have you ever needed something, had no idea where to get it and went straight to Google to type “where do I buy xxx” or “xxx where to buy”?

Well, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world are doing this and the tech giant is banking on that to make even more profit.

They are now teaming up with big retailers such as Home Depot, Target, Costco, Ulta and Walmart under a new program that lists their products directly on Google Search, on the Google Express shopping service and of course, on Google Assistant on mobile phones and voice devices.

In exchange, the retailers will have to shell out a certain portion of each purchase to Google. However, this is not to be confused with Google ads which is an entirely different thing.

Daniel Alegre, Google’s president for retail and shopping, said in an exclusive interview with Reuters that over the last two years, the amount of people on Google asking where to buy products rose by 85%. Currently however, this searches most often result to Amazon purchases.

Under Google’s new Shopping Actions, retailers such as Walmart and Target can now compete with Amazon in influencing shopper’s purchasing decisions and help them get more purchases made from their mobile phones and smart home devices through voice searches.

But how does this work exactly?

A shopper can search for let’s say, some new curtains on her way home and adds it to her Google Express cart. When she gets home, she realises she also needs cereals so she searches for them using her Google Home and adds them to the cart and purchases all at once. Easy-peasy.

Currently, the new Shopping Actions is available to retailers in the United States. We’ll have to wait to see if they will also implement this worldwide.

BlackBerry to act as credit card?

Cash, credit or BlackBerry?

Retail outlets may start asking Canadians these three words when checking out an item as CIBC and Rogers Communications announced a partnership that will harness the Near Field Communication technology that is a feature in newer BlackBerry’s that would allow your BB to act as your credit card.

Senior vice president of retail and business banking for CIBC David Williamson said, “Some people might not carry a wallet but they’ll always have their smartphone.”

But a research released by Google said that Canadians are not keen on the idea of using their smartphones to make purchases online. After polling about a thousand individuals who have smartphones, only 20 percent said they already purchased an item using their devices and 16 percent said they are going to increase mobile shopping next year.

Mastercard estimates that only 15 percent of Canadian consumers are willing to use a mobile device to pay for their items.

Ian Shelly from KPMG said that this figures are quite low. “The 15 percent number is really just the tech-savvy individuals who have kept up with the mobile payments agenda. But once these sorts of announcements come up I think you’ll see much greater adoption.”

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