Google Plans to Conquer Online Shopping
Google announced it would be partnering with Shopify and included new details of its plans to take over a larger piece of the booming eCommerce market in the process. The deal comes together in an effort to stave off Amazon’s rising dominance as the starting point for online shopping searches.
Google’s President of Commerce and Payments, Bill Ready, announced the Shopify partnership during the company’s developer conference on May 18. After the announcement, Shopify shares rose by 3%, while Google’s dropped about 1%.
“When it comes to shopping, what we’re really trying to build out and support is a free and open commerce ecosystem. This is really important for consumers to have choice, and especially for small and mid-sized businesses to be able to participate in the rise of digital commerce as well,” said Bill Ready.
Reintroducing the free listings incorporated into Google Shopping is at the center of the “online shopping democratization” strategy presented by Ready. These listings were initially launched in April 2020 but have since been exchanged for a pay-to-participate model. However, now that the partnership with Shopify has brought its network of around 1.7 million retailers to Google’s fold, the free listings are back. According to Ready, at least one billion shopping searches occur daily via Google, but they remain a largely untapped resource.
The improvements that Google is developing could prove to be of great value for businesses that have yet to develop an online presence. The SmallBizGenius team recommends exploring ways to build an eCommerce presence for your business to take advantage of Google’s growing commercial platform.
“We want to help people discover, learn about and shop for the products they love — whether those products come from a big-box retailer, new direct-to-consumer brands, or the mom-and-pop shop down the street. We’re supporting an open network of retailers and shoppers to help businesses get discovered and give people more options when they’re looking to buy,” said Ready about the Google Shopping platform.
The platform’s design will be advantageous for Google Ads, which in 2020 earned $147 billion for Alphabet, and accounts for more than 50% of all US ad spending. Still, while Google is still at the top of the game, Amazon’s share of the ad market grew from 13.3% in 2019 to 19% in 2020 and is likely to increase further in 2021.