While Google is easily the most popular avenue for search marketing in the United States, it faces an emerging threat in the form of Amazon. Recent estimates by research firm eMarketer suggest that Google’s share of search ad revenue will reach 73.1% in 2019 but decline to 70.5% by 2021.
In the search advertising market, Amazon will be the sole beneficiary of this fall; the eCommerce titan’s share is tipped to rise from 12.9% in 2019 to 15.9% in the subsequent two years. Google’s reversing fortunes in this area help to clarify the case for the recent overhaul of Google Shopping.
Google unveiled its redesigned Shopping interface in early October – and, while it remains unclear when exactly it will reach the UK, signs abound that it could not only help to relieve Google’s competitive pressures but also fundamentally change how we shop online.
Personalisation at the forefront
At the time of writing, the new Google Shopping experience is live in the US. However, it also rolled out in France earlier this year, hinting at Google’s confidence that the interface is ready for prime time in the European market.
Whether this interface is used on mobile or desktop, it will let you peruse listings for potentially millions of products from possibly thousands of stores. So far, so familiar, you might think – except that the homepage will offer personalised suggestions based on your searching and shopping habits.
Tracking falls in price
Traditionally, the Google Shopping portal is an obvious place to go to compare prices on products in which you are already interested. However, the new Google Shopping takes this comparison functionality a step further by letting shoppers switch on “price track” for a particular item.
Consequently, these people will be notified on their phone when this price drops – though retailers can rest easy that shoppers can only track prices on a retailer-by-retailer basis. Hence, stores won’t feel pressured to “race to the bottom” with competitors on pricing.
Looking for products stocked by local stores
Admittedly, I’m one of several eCommerce experts whose observations have suggested that you might not want to relinquish your store’s high-street presence just yet. Now, you’ve got another incentive: Google will let your customers see what’s in local, brick-and-mortar stores, too.
The continued benefits of traditional, high-street shopping are undoubted: perhaps you would like to see and touch a product before buying it, or you simply can’t afford to wait for it to be delivered. Google will enable shoppers to check whether local stores stock the specific item required.
Buying directly through Google Shopping
One major advantage of eCommerce platforms like Amazon over Google is that, with shoppers’ personal and billing details already saved on the platform, it can appreciably take shoppers just a few clicks or taps to make purchases. Google Shopping has served as more of a gateway to retailers’ platforms than a platform in its own right, but this situation looks set to change.
With the new Google Shopping, shoppers can use payment details stored on their Google account to make purchases, all of which will come with a Google-provided guarantee. This, in turn, will help relieve the risk these shoppers could feel they face in buying from a little-known retailer.
Eco-friendly eCommerce – it’s no longer an oxymoron
Google certainly hasn’t lost sight of how it can increasingly effectively meet its environmental responsibilities even with Google Shopping, where the delivery of your products can contribute to carbon emissions. Google has announced its plan to offset those emissions.
In a press release on its sustainability initiatives, Google clarifies that, for every metric tonne of carbon dioxide resulting from shipping a product bought on Google Shopping, the search giant will act to ensure the removal of the same volume in emissions.
This move could easily reassure the 75% of UK consumers, as per Walnut research, who admit to making purchasing decisions due to ethical grounds. Other eCommerce platforms could also be inspired to follow suit, adding up to a win for retailers, shoppers and the environment, too.
When it does eventually reach British shores, the revamped Google Shopping will be firmly integrated with Google’s core search offering. Therefore, by contacting my eCommerce agency, Visualsoft, to see how you can already effectively leverage your eCommerce marketing efforts through Google, you can get a head-start on making the most of the new Google Shopping.