Google has introduced Shopping Actions, a new service that retailers can use to help increase sales and compete with the sheer dominance of Amazon. Shopping Actions lets retailers list their products on Google, Google Express (Google's shopping service) and Google Home/Assistant, the latter allowing customers to search and buy items with their voice.
Through the service, customers can have a single, universal shopping cart to put anything and everything they want to order, before progressing to the checkout to buy. For example, a customer could notice they're out of soap in the bathroom, search for some on Google, see a sponsored ad and then add it to their shopping cart.
Later in the day, they could be in the kitchen, see they're out of kitchen foil so can ask Google Home to add some to their shopping basket. The customer can then purchase both items, even if they're from different retailers, in one transaction.
In return for letting retailers list their items through any of its shopping channels, Google will take a cut of the final sale. This is a slightly different model to the one Google has been using for years, which sees the search giant take a cut everytime someone clicks on an advert in a search result window.
Google, and indeed the retailers who have signed up to the Shopping Actions service, are hoping their increased presence will increase sales.
Google's research shows people with a voice-activated speaker are using it at least once a week to order household items and groceries. Because you can only buy items through Amazon with the Amazon Echo, retailers are signing up to Google's service to take advantage of the increase in searches and sales by voice.
Shopping Actions is only available in the US for now, with Target, Walmart, Ultra Beauty, Costco and Home Depot all signed up to the service. Retailers can integrate their loyalty programs with Google's service too, and Google can look at customer data to see what people are buying and when. If a customer buys the same product around the same time each month, Google will put it near the top of a recommended list of items.
Google says since it introduced the service, retailers have noticed an average increase of 30 per cent in basket size.