Google has long wanted to gain ground in the eCommerce sector. So far, it has counted on Google Shopping, its product search engine allowing online stores to show their products within search results. A platform acting as an intermediary between the users and the final purchase of the product on the stores’ website.
Now, Google is no longer satisfied with being a mere intermediary, but it wants more.
What is Google Express?
Google Express began its journey in 2013. Named at that time Google Shopping Express, it was a marketplace solely of food products, which promised deliveries on the same day (hence its name).
At first, this service was available only in the city of San Francisco, although in 2014 Google extended the service to more cities in the United States: Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Chicago.
As of today, the Google Express service is available throughout the US Continental (Alaska and Hawaii stay out) and is expected to shortly begin tests in France with which to kick-off Google’s marketplace in Europe.
What does Google Express offer the user?
The truth is that now it differs little of what Amazon can offer the user. Moreover, given the new service, the brand’s catalogue and products are much more limited than in the eCommerce giant.
Google Express has free delivery from a minimum purchase and the delivery times ranging from the same day to 3-5 days depending on the seller. Now, it requires an account in Google Pay to make the payment in a more agile way.
The good part of being more recent is its excellent design: clean, intuitive, with a multitude of filters by colour, brand, size, price … The purchase process is straightforward and fast, asserting its brand claim: Shopping Done Fast.
What products can be purchased in Google Express?
At the moment there are quite a few American brands that participate in Google Express, from big chains like Costco, Target or BestBuy, to all kind’s brands: fashion, beauty, sports, electronics, etc.
Also, one good thing for brands is the visibility that this Google eCommerce gives them. In the main menu, there is the “Stores” section allowing you to see which brands are available in Google Express and to entering their “stores” to see and search within them the products they offer.
This is something that, for example, Amazon hides more, making it more challenging to see the seller’s information, as well as all the products it sells on its platform.
Google Shopping Actions, the management platform for stores
The brands wishing to register in Google Express will have to do it through Google Shopping Actions. This platform allows products to be displayed both in the marketplace and in the search results of both desktop and mobile.
But that’s not the end of it: the exciting thing about this platform is that Google will connect its marketplace with the voice searches carried out through its voice assistant, giving a boost to its smart Google Home speakers.
Being able to purchase without touching the mobile or the computer, simply by asking Google “live” is something already possible and it can be a good differentiator helping to convince the user.
The struggle with Amazon for the purchases data
The ultimate goal of all this is clear: the struggle to know what users buy. Google has a lot of information about us, but until now it was missing to know what products we are buying. A piece of information that, on the other hand, Amazon dominates, thanks to the success it has experienced with its Amazon Prime service.
Also, Amazon also has Alexa, its virtual assistant to make purchases by voice, as well as their own smart speakers. If we add Apple Pay and its HomePod … We can be sure that the struggle to take over the world of eCommerce promises to be… Fierce.
Will Google Express succeed? Will we see it in Spain?
The truth is that Google has been fighting for a space in the eCommerce world for several years; So far without the success that could be required of a company with its size and power.
The Google Express evolution has had ups and downs with essential brands that have decided to leave the platform because there are several voices that do not trust the success of the platform.
We will see if with its jump to Europe, with its first assault in France, the platform takes momentum and manages to gain a foothold in our market. Now, the question is… Will brands trust the new Google eCommerce?