Google roundup: Shopping Actions, losing ad share, Monorail gets Pay

Google's Shopping Actions feature could help retail chains keep customers

Google is confident that the new move will entice its users to purchase more from its partners, which will give it an edge against rival Amazon. It's a commission based program, but a pay per click or pay per impression plan. The program, called Shopping Actions, will be available to all United States retailers.

The previously unreported initiative sprang from Google's observation that tens of millions of consumers were sending image searches of products, asking "Where can I buy this?"

Google's new program is called Google Shopping Actions.

Google Shopping Actions will help the retailers to better pitch their products whenever a related query is put on Google search and other portals. Shopping Actions appear within the sponsored Shopping Unit on the Google Search page, and on Google.com/Shopping. The company said no organic search rankings are impacted or changed. Then, you might decide to order foil on your Google Home.

Google will generate revenue from Shopping Actions by charging a fee for every transaction.

Is this the "Google Marketplace" that online sellers have been theorising about for years? So this initiative not only results in dollars for Google - it also takes purchases away from shopping competitor Amazon.

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"It's clear that people want helpful, personal, and frictionless interactions that allow them to shop wherever and however they want - from making decisions on what to buy, to building baskets, to checking out more quickly than ever before", Google said.

For consumers faced with a surfeit of choices, the idea is to make online buying easier by giving them a single shopping cart and instant checkout - a core feature of Amazon's retail dominance. They can, for example, look for an item on a smartphone using Google, add a retailer's listing to their Google Express cart; when they get home later they can order more items using the Google Home smart speaker and then buy everything at once - just like they can on Amazon.

Increase loyalty and engagement with your highest value customers. "From the customer's point of view, it provides a very seamless multi-channel and multi-mindset experience".

For instance, during the past six months, Target has seen the size of its guests' Google Express baskets on average increase by almost 20%.Ulta Beauty's average order value on Google Express rose 35% since 2016.

The new approach is different from what retailers usually have to pay when accessing Google ads. They have also seen an approximately 30% average increase in basket size for merchants participating in Shopping Actions.

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