Google is rolling out a redesigned look to its Shopping homepage on desktop and mobile in its latest push to challenge Amazon.com Inc.’s ecommerce dominance. Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000.
Shopping.Google.com’s revamped look features a personalized homepage that greets a user by name with the message “Let’s go shopping” and tailors results based on the user’s preferences. The shopper can filter results based on feature, product category, theme (such as “summer products”) or retailer. For example, a shopper looking for headphones might filter results based on a feature like “wireless” and a brand like “Apple.”
The site notes when an item that is bought online can be picked up in a store. Retailers can have that information displayed if they have a product landing page on their sites that show when in-store pickup is available and a local inventory feed in Google’s Merchant Center, which many retailers already use for Google’s local inventory ads. Merchants can also indicate within the Merchant Center the items that they can quickly ship to a store for in-store pickup.
Once a shopper narrows his selection to a single product, he can view product information, including product reviews and videos, which retailers upload to Google in its Merchant Center. And when the shopper is ready to buy, he can select whether he wants to purchase online on the retailer’s ecommerce site, in a nearby store or directly on Google.
The search giant, which announced the change in May and plans to have it rolled out to all consumers in the next few months, revamped the page to drive more shoppers to its platform, analysts say. Google’s Shopping homepage only accounts for a small share of the traffic attributed to Google Shopping ads, says Andy Taylor, Merkle’s director of research. And far more shoppers turn to Amazon rather than Google when they’re looking for a product online.
Amazon is still the top spot where consumers go to first to start looking for products online, with 49% of consumers selecting Amazon, 36% selecting search engines and 15% selecting other retailers, according to a study of 2,000 consumers by market research firm Survata in 2017.
Of the consumers that selected Amazon as their top spot for shopping, 28% chose it because of Amazon’s experience and easy-to-use navigation, 27% for its product variety and selection and 25% said price, according to the survey.
“Google’s ultimate objective to provide a one-stop-shop for the customer purchase journey, starting at product discovery to purchase event, sets them ahead of competition outside of Amazon due to their breadth of user-activity,” says Price Glomski, executive vice president at digital marketing agency PMG.
The redesign will benefit retailers that are a part of Google’s Shopping Actions, which lets consumer buy products across Googles platform, such as its the search engine, voice search and digital assistant. The Shopping tab is automatically integrated with Shopping Actions, and Google features products that are fulfilled by Shopping Actions, says Japhia Mangan, account director at digital marketing agency Adlucent.
“The rollout of the new Google Shopping platform is the next step in driving more traffic to advertisers opted into Shopping Actions,” Mangan says. “Although this update does put Google in more direct competition with retailer ads, it is a necessary move to compete with Amazon when it comes to product and voice search. Voice search is the future of product fulfillment, and Shopping Actions will allow Google Assistant to answer and complete voice queries. For Google to get more advertisers signed up for Shopping Actions, it is vital to grow consumer usage and traffic to the platform. Google is taking measures to secure its long-term ability to compete in voice search and voice shopping fulfillment.”
Spending on Google Shopping ads grew 38% during the second quarter, according to Merkle’s recently released “Digital Marketing Report Q2 2019” report that is based on its client data. Google Shopping ads produced 63% of retailers’ total Google search ads clicks in the second quarter.
Compared with ads on Amazon, Amazon’s Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands have significantly higher conversion rates than Google Shopping ads, according to the Merkle report. Amazon’s Sponsored Products’ conversion rate is 240% higher than Google Shopping ads and Sponsored Brands’ rate is 165% higher than Google Shopping ads. This shows consumers are more likely to go to Amazon when they are ready to buy, and more likely to use Google when they are shopping around, according to Merkle says.Favorite