Google announced new e-commerce collaborations at its I/O conference two days ago, with its expanded partnership with Shopify taking center stage. Shopify has been attracting attention from industry insiders for some time with its offering to simplify the organization and logistics of its own online store for store owners and merchants without having to be an Amazon merchant.
This is Google’s way of supporting a trend that could, in the medium term, add some value to city centers. It’s not without reason that the well-done “be with you in 10 minutes” offer from Gorillas is getting a huge boost in many cities. Specialty stores and boutiques in pedestrian areas can very easily use the combined offering of Google and Shopify to offer their display online and rank above Amazon in Google rankings. If they search for a product in Google Shopping, they’ll get a hint when the store is open nearby and a prompt asking if you want to reserve the scarf or pants now. So you can find out much faster if building materials, a certain tool, an Apple Watch, a razor, a certain LED lamp, battery, cooking pot or a cashmere scarf can be found nearby before you check Amazon and have it delivered.
Movies, series and advertising are networking our living rooms
Google must stand up to Amazon, because Amazon’s advertising revenues are growing at 40% annually, so that there is already talk of an advertising platform with a connected online store. Still the advertising incomes with 14 billion USD are only one tenth of those of Google, but Amazon has still more core businesses. After online shopping and the cloud business, Amazon has successfully placed itself in the living rooms of more than 200 million households of both the young and older generations with its Prime video service and Alexa (Echo), the permanent listening device. With the revenues from Prime, Amazon not only produces high-quality series itself, but will soon also buy the well-known film studio MGM for 10 billion euros. MGM is suffering greatly from the Corona-related cinema closures, but could not bring itself to sell the new James Bond flick exclusively to Apple. So subscription services like Netflix and Prime continue to shift the power over exploitation chain of movies away from the studios to the streaming platforms, like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple. Imagine being allowed to watch your series for free with ads inserted in the future, or Alexa just asking, “Do you want Fresh to deliver this delicious pasta to you in 15 minutes ?”
Google is not a marketplace
Google will use artificial intelligence to automatically link Shopify merchants’ listings in YouTube videos and photos as well, without the Shopify merchant having to worry about tagging them in the visuals themselves. So you take a photo of your friend’s handbag and seconds later you find out how much it costs and which nearby store has it.
Because unlike Amazon, Google doesn’t see its role as a marketplace, but rather a platform to browse, discover and buy. To the 1.7 million small and mid-sized merchants on the Shopify platform, Google is giving “free listings” a chance to succeed in the digital commerce space.
With the free listings Google earns no money with ads, but promises itself through the higher volume of dealers a higher attractiveness for users and through this quasi-monopoly position in the consequence again more advertising revenue. The dealers can be found on Google Maps in the vicinity, their reputation is known and their offer reliable, provided they are disciplined enough to take online or in the store sold goods also immediately from the store / online offer or reserve.
To browse regional stores from home and have them delivered directly is a long-cherished wish of stressed families and singles. Since then also lockdown for all the rest.
Google’s strategy of linking everything in texts, photos, videos, films and maps makes the search engine giant the new superpower in regional shopping. In the medium term, entirely new business models and logistical infrastructures could emerge around the city centers.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
(This article was and translated with deepl)