Google does not want to become a retailer, but it does aspire to become a major marketplace.
The difference is significant. Being a retailer requires a major investment in inventory — and finding a place to store it all — whereas being a marketplace means you only enable the sale of goods and services.
For quite some time, Google has been working hard at becoming a significant force in e-commerce, and now, it may be one step closer. Google is considering creating a “buy” button, similar to Amazon’s one-click purchasing, to enable customers to check-out directly on Google, reports The Wall Street Journal, which spoke to retailers with knowledge of Google’s ambitions.
What’s more, Google may also be considering rolling out two-day shipping perks, which would work similarly to how ShopRunner charges customers $79 a year for unlimited two-day shipping across multiple sites, or how Amazon charges $99 a year for Prime.
The two moves could make Google Shopping even more competitive against Amazon and eBay as a convenient place to shop. A buy button would allow customers to fill in their shipping and credit card information once, and check-out without ever having to leave Google.
When Google will launch these services, if it ever does, is not known.
A Google spokeswoman told the WSJ that the company continuously explores and tests “many ideas for improving the experience for consumers,” but it has nothing to announce.
Currently, retailers pay Google to promote their products within its search engine through a program called product listing ads. Although Google does not break out revenue from product searches, the WSJ says former employees say it is the company’s most lucrative ad division.
In addition to its work done on the advertising side of the business, Google has also shown its interest in creating a speedy delivery network. The company said recently its same-day delivery service, which works with such retailers as Barnes & Noble, Nine West, PetSmart, Vitamin Shoppe, reaches more than 7 million people in six markets.