For years, Google has been trying to dethrone Amazon as the ultimate eCommerce platform, and they have been at each other’s throats for at least 8 years now. However, Amazon always seems to be a few steps ahead of the search engine giant.
I still remember when Google started their subscription-based Google Shopping Express in 2013 as a way to beat Amazon Prime. The service was actually pretty nifty, with fees that were a tad lower than those on Amazon, and offered a ton of cool services, even grocery shopping. However, the tech giant could not establish itself as a shopping destination or brand and closed the project after only five years. It became an online mall filled with retailers such as Best Buy, Target, and, briefly, Walmart.
One would think that Google would move on the same way they did when they ditched their efforts in becoming a social media platform with Google+. However, it seems they have something called the anti-Amazon strategy, and they are committed to beating the retail giant no matter the cost.
In 2020, they teamed up with Shopify in an effort to leverage their power as an eCommerce solution. Last year they waived all fees for merchants to list their products in search results, and also let them upload their inventories directly to the platform. In short, they have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at Amazon, and they still haven’t made a dent. Last year’s figures showed that, for all of their efforts, the amount of transactions people perform on Google is very small when compared to the retail giant.
However, this year Google executive Prabhakar Raghavan revealed new features that can potentially turn the tide in this battle.
As one of their newest features, they showed the power of their new search engine algorithm which allows people to take pictures of something they need, and Google would link them directly to the product and purchase without having to use the search bar. In other words, users will be able to find anything with the click of their cameras.
During the same presentation, they showed how search results can be used as a checkout page for participating merchants. Completely eliminating the need to navigate through their websites and eliminating shopping friction and hesitancy. However, many point out that transforming Google into a shopping outlet might finally wreck the “Google Experience”, alienating millions of users who use the engine for information gathering purposes. However, it seems the devs at Google are working on ways to make the transition imperceptible so users never have to think about their current location when shopping.
But Amazon has not been idle. They recently announced that users in other eCommerce platforms will be able to add a “Buy With Prime” button to their stores, allowing customers to continue shopping without ever leaving Amazon´s environment. The option leverages the power of Amazon Prime, including its fulfillment processes and logistics.
There is no clear winner yet, and the eCommerce market seems to have slowed down this year, signaling that consumers’ habits seem to be reverting to pre-pandemic levels.
What does this all mean? It’s time to partner with a professional, experienced eCommerce SEO agency.
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