Will Google’s venture into e-commerce set a trend, which will make it a gcommerce?
(Had read an article on BusinessInsider Buy directly from Google. Though, I am unaware of revenue model of Google in the context of ads, following are my views regarding the latest venture of Google into ecommerce)
Until now – Google Shopping
Currently, Google Shopping is used as a seadvertisement space for merchants, so that users can be diverted to shopping websites of merchants. Since a merchant website is not as popular as Google, and Google having a large userbase attracts a lot of visitors to merchant websites.
New Feature – Search on Google and Shop
Now, Google is going one step further, utilizing search page, which is the most used utility of Google. Now merchants will pay Google to place their products as ads. Users can opt to checkout the product directly from Google search page and buy the product. Google’s revenue model is good, since the user-base is large, merchants will definitely target Google as a medium to place their ads and each click would generate more revenue compared to previous ad-revenue model of Google. Now the probability of users buying products from merchants is more, reason being that users are provided with checkout and buy option, this will increase the revenue for Google.
New Feature – Deep linking to ecommerce apps
Assuming this is for mobile users. Here Google is trying to target ecommerce apps as their customers. For example, ebay, amazon, flipkart might need to pay Google to place their results, so that Google would drive the results to their apps. Users will search for products on Google, Google will produce results.
The above two ventures are slightly sounding something like ‘Shop on Google’. This might become a household phrase, if things click out.
What about the competitors?
Currently, Amazon, Flipkart, Alibaba are direct destinations for shopping online/mobile.But Google is a search expert. The web users are so used to shop on Amazon, Flipkart and now the mobile users are getting used to their respective mobile apps. So, why should a user visit Google to do their shopping is another question. What would be a differentiating factor which would be presented by Google?
So, how is Google going to make itself a first stop destination for users to come and shop? Probably, like Search on Google, we might have Shop on Google.
Social Network-ed Shopping
If Facebook wishes to venture into this, we might step into Social Network-ed shopping. You will start seeing what your friends have bought, you might start seeing reviews from your friends, you could shop for your friends (currently, it is in the sense of gifts, but why not shopping for friends?). The reason Facebook might need to venture into ecommerce is that it involves more money than just ads being currently.
Imagine, just like how we are able to see in news feed, about likes, shares, comments of friends, we might start seeing something like following:
Your friend PersonA just now shopped for Seinheisser headphones on Flipkart for Rs 2000. Click here to explore. This will drive users to ecommerce websites. It will be an option to users to share their shopping information with friends/public. Assuming that this is a level of intrusion into privacy of users. Thinking from one angle of selfies, where people are attracted to the concept of selfies, by posing for a picture, imagine users start posting buyfies – “I just bought a cool headphone from alibaba.com”