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Google challenges Amazon with shopping services

29 August 2017 - 09:32 by Graham Miller

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Although Amazon is arguably the biggest name in safe shopping online, search giant Google is increasingly seeking to encroach on this marketplace and has just announced a tie-in which will improve its chances of success.

Working with US retail chain, Walmart, Google will now be able to offer customers the option to purchase items directly using its voice-controlled digital assistant service.

This will allow it to deliver similar capabilities to Amazon’s Alexa, which is available on the Echo smart speaker. The benefit of Google’s service is that it will roll out to smart speakers as well as millions of mobile phones which run its Android platform, according to BBC News.

Although the integrated e-commerce features will only be available in America for the time being, they could well make an appearance in the UK. Supermarket brand, Asda, is part of the Walmart family and customers could eventually have the option of buying groceries via safe shopping online with just their voice.

A small amount of setup is required to get Google’s service working, but once users have linked their assistant with their Walmart account, making purchases should be straightforward enough.

Experts believe that the main benefit of this type of service is the convenience it affords consumers. And industry analysts are focusing closely on how the emerging generation of shoppers are behaving as technology is increasingly entwined with their habits.

Google is unlikely to challenge Amazon’s supremacy in the short term, but by improving its voice-controlled assistant it will avoid falling behind the curve. Its dominance in other areas of the internet will set it in good stead for any other moves it wishes to make in the future, including additional developments to its ability to provide online shopping directly, not just via search results.