This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best possible experience. See our Cookies Policy.

PMG Digital Made for Humans

Google Shopping Actions: Retailers’ Defense Against Amazon or a New Adversary?

3 MINUTE READ | March 30, 2018

Google Shopping Actions: Retailers’ Defense Against Amazon or a New Adversary?

Google and Amazon have been at war ever since Amazon started stealing away searchers looking to buy online. As Google began losing ground in the realm of product based searches, the company fought back with the rollout of Google Shopping ads (formerly, but often still referred to as PLAs) released in 2010, and Google Express in 2013. These two products have come to look and feel a lot like Amazon; however, Google’s latest effort to steal back searchers has some retailers worried they’ll get caught in the crossfire between the two companies fighting for dominance in the world of e-commerce.

Google’s latest lob against Amazon came last week with the announcement of Google Shopping Actions. Daniel Alegre, Google’s President of Retail & Shopping, presented Shopping Actions at ShopTalk as a universal shopping cart that users can add to across Google Shopping, Google Express, and Google Assistant with voice search. Rather than being listed on a pay-per-click model, products will be listed on a pay-per-sale model, the same way Amazon monetizes products listed on its platform.

This is another move from Google to keep users in the Google ecosystem as much as possible. By providing more options on the search results page that lead to a Google service rather than an advertiser’s site, they are increasing their share of voice in search. This makes sense for Google since many product-focused searches that start on Google likely end up on Amazon.

The question would be, then, does this make sense for retailers?

There hasn’t been much information released about the exact form that Shopping Actions listings will take across Google’s platforms. Depending on how Google ends up prioritizing listings from the Shopping Actions program, this could mean less visibility or increased cost for current Google Shopping ad programs. So far though, Google has not made any statements on the matter.

Evaluating the potential value of being on Shopping Actions will likely have to wait until initial results outside of the launch stores are reported (including Target, Ulta, and 1-800-Flowers; which naturally all give glowing reviews of the new offering). Performance will likely vary based on business size and retail vertical as well.

What we do know is that the technical and logistical overhead will be high, especially for advertisers not already onboarded with Google Express. Businesses can integrate with Shopping Actions in one of two ways: Online or Local. With Online Integration, retailers can “ship orders directly from warehouse and central shipping hubs.” Local Integration will allow retailers to fulfill orders “directly from their local physical storefronts.” Either of these options will likely require technical expertise, new systems, and logistical considerations.

Insights meet inbox

Sign up for weekly articles & resources.

For brands already seeing strong performance on Google Express, Shopping Actions could be a great way to expand their reach on Google platforms. For everyone else, it might be better to wait until more specific information is released about Google’s latest offering before assuming the potential gain will outweigh the costs to integrate.


Posted by Garrett Milliken

Related Content

thumbnail image

Get Informed

Google Performance Max Campaigns Now Available to All Advertisers

4 MINUTES READ | November 2, 2021

Get Informed

The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry

5 MINUTES READ | November 19, 2020

Get Informed

Google Launches Non-Paid Shopping Offers (aka free PLAs)

7 MINUTES READ | April 24, 2020

thumbnail image

Get Inspired

Maximizing Success with Visual Search

7 MINUTES READ | December 2, 2019

Get Inspired

Celebrate Christmas in July With These Holiday Insights

4 MINUTES READ | July 17, 2019

Get Informed

Takeaways from Microsoft Ads’ NYC Retail Workshop

4 MINUTES READ | July 9, 2019

thumbnail image

Get Informed

How Google Is Improving Consumer Data Privacy

1 MINUTE READ | June 18, 2019

Get Informed

Direct-To-Consumer Disrupts-The-Competition

7 MINUTES READ | April 12, 2019

Get Informed

Unraveling How YouTube and Google Work Together

6 MINUTES READ | March 21, 2019

thumbnail image

Get Informed

Google Sunsetting Average Position Metric

2 MINUTES READ | March 11, 2019

Get Inspired

9 Predictions on the State of B2B

7 MINUTES READ | February 13, 2019

Get Informed

YaBing Or Binghoo? Bing and Yahoo Merge Systems

3 MINUTES READ | February 11, 2019

ALL POSTS