Google Takes Aim at Amazon. Again.

Google is getting serious about competing with Amazon in online shopping — just like it did in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2019. The New York Times: But in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip America, the push to create an online shopping marketplace to compete with Amazon has taken on new urgency as consumers are avoiding stores and turning to the internet to fill more of their shopping needs. On Thursday, Google announced that it would take steps to bring more sellers and products onto its shopping site by waiving sales commissions and allowing retailers to use popular third-party payment and order management services like Shopify instead of the company’s own systems. Currently, commissions on Google Shopping range from a 5 percent to 15 percent cut depending on the products.

Google is usually the starting point for finding information on the internet, but that is often not the case when consumers are searching for a product to buy. More consumers in the United States are turning first to Amazon to find products that they plan to purchase. This has allowed Amazon to build a rapidly growing advertising business, which is a threat to Google’s main financial engine. Google’s seven-year battle to take on Amazon has had more lows than highs. In 2013, it started a shopping service called Google Shopping Express, offering free same-day delivery. It offered $95 annual memberships for faster delivery and it tried delivering groceries. Google eventually scrapped the efforts. Google Express evolved into an online shopping mall filled with top retailers like Target and Best Buy. In 2017, it added Walmart to its virtual mall, but the partnership was short-lived. Last year, Google ditched Google Express for Google Shopping and introduced a buy button to allow shoppers to use credit cards stored with the company to complete the transaction without leaving the search engine.