Google added Best Buy, Sephora and Nike to the list of retailers that can be purchased directly through Google's Shopping Actions service, a unified shopping cart capability integrating Google Assistant, Google Express and the internet giant's search capabilities, according to a Google Ads blog post.
With the move, shoppers can now buy products from Best Buy on the Google Express shopping platform by using Google Assistant voice capabilities, and can shop Sephora via search, Assistant or Google Express. The capability to buy from Nike directly through Google Assistant and Google Search will be added later this month.
Shopping Actions was launched last March to make it easier for shoppers using Google search and Assistant capabilities on desktop devices, mobile smartphones or Google Home to buy products on Google Express without having to go to the retailer or brand website after the initial product discovery.
The announcement couldn't have come at a better time for Google's e-commerce aspirations, which have been dealt a double whammy of negative news in recent weeks. First, Jumpshot released research stating that Amazon surpassed Google in online product searches over the last three years. Then, reports last week revealed that some product brands are shifting as much as 60% of the online ad budgets they previously allocated to Google over to Amazon.
In the blog post announcing these new relationships, Google sounds like a company doing its best to prepare for the holiday shopping rush. Google said it's enhancing its approach to online shopping as a response to how consumers are using multiple devices (desktop, mobile and smart speakers like Google Home) to begin the online shopping process, as well as consumers' desire for a quicker, more frictionless shopping experience.
Google Express has become an important new sales channel for retailers and brands that don't have a presence on Amazon. Google needs an answer to Amazon's surging growth in online product search, advertising and shopping, while brands need a powerful way to get in front of shoppers who are increasingly using search and voice assistant technology as a fast path to purchase.
Shopping Actions brings Google Express closer to becoming an Amazon alternative that brands are looking for. But, its value hinges on big names buying in. The addition of Best Buy, Sephora and Nike, three of the biggest names in consumer electronics, beauty and footwear, could vastly improve its appeal.