Google Search & Assistant Now Selling Products Directly

"We see ourselves as part of a solution for retailers to be able to drive better transactions ... and get closer to the consumer", Daniel Alegre, Google's president for retail and shopping, told Reuters.

Allegre said early results from the Shopping Actions program showed the average size of retailers' online shopping baskets have increased by 30 percent, a sign that consumers want the convenience of shopping directly from their Google searches. All three platforms will now allow users to save their payment information and make instant purchases, with participation in the program being free and Google only requiring a piece of revenue in cases when sales are made.

According to a report by Reuters, Google is partnering with retailers such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot and Costco.

One example Google gave in its blog was of a customer that can search for hand soap, find a sponsored listing for Target's branded soap, and add it to a cart on Google Express, then purchase aluminum foil using the Google Assistants voice search capability, and use one streamlined site to purchase all her items. The two services, along with Google Express, are linked by a new universal shopping cart. More than 44 percent of those who used their voice-activated speaker at least weekly said that they had used their device to order products such as groceries and household items at least once a week.

The new program can potentially reset that part of the purchase journey but, the Verge noted, other factors, including delivery costs and speed, ease of use, and final product price differences, then come into play.

It will also bridge some of the gap caused by the European Union ruling that Google must let other shopping services advertise in its Google Shopping search results. Later, the customer can stand in the kitchen, and use the Google Home voice device to add paper towels to the same cart and buy everything at once. But with the increasing presence of Amazon in people's lives from Alexa interactions to Whole Foods shopping trips, you didn't expect Google and Walmart to take this lying down, did you? Some of these were detailed in the company's official announcement of Shopping Actions, as the program is called.

Ulta Beauty, which has already tested the program, said its average order value jumped 35 percent thanks to the partnership with Google. 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. This new program would also help the search king contend with the likes of Amazon in the world of e-commerce.

  • Anthony Vega