Google (GOOG) and Shopify (SHOP) stock popped higher on May 18th, 2021 on the announcement of partnership.

Google is finding new ways to expand their search dominance with Google Chrome browser, Google News, Google Books, and, now the largest focus, Google Shopping. During the Google I/O 2021 event (from Tuesday, May 18th to Thursday, May 20th), Google announced enhancements to their Google Shopping website including a surprise partnership with Shopify. The partnership gives Shopify store owners the opportunity to more easily access Google Shopping customers.

See: https://www.shopify.com/google

The Covid-19 pandemic has helped accelerate the move away from brick and mortar stores to online and mobile shopping experiences. Over the past year, an aggressive fight for market dominance has ensued, and Google is not planning on sitting on the sidelines here.

The announcement and news come as Amazon, Facebook, Walmart, and many other e-commerce businesses expand their operations and advertisement offerings. Google’s primary advertisement business is threatened by Amazon and Facebook’s continued market share expansion.

Shopify customers will now be able to easily promote products through Google Shopping with Google’s newly announced Shopping Graph. According to Google, the Shopping Graph is an AI and machine learning enhanced tool that will be able to pull data from different websites including “[…] products, sellers, brands, reviews and most importantly, the product information and inventory data […] as well as how those attributes relate to one another.”

See Google’s recent blog article about the updates and partnership here: https://blog.google/products/shopping/more-ways-to-shop

Over 1.7 million Shopify merchants can now access Google’s targeted views across the different Google products. For example, if a product is presented in a YouTube video, the user will more easily be able to shop and discover that product without interrupting the experience.

Perhaps Google’s biggest contribution to the network of merchants they provide the service to is their elimination of fees and barriers of entry. Their product catalog offered on the Google Shopping product has increased by about 70% while their active merchants have increased by approximately 80% since implementing this new fee structure.

One of the most novel features added to Google’s experience is their Google Shopping and product suggestion feature in Lens. By simply taking a screenshot, Google’s Lens and the Shopping Graph will identify products in that screenshot and, if you choose, offer product suggestions that are similar. Google gives an example where a user is able to use Lens to find the shoes worn by their favorite basketball player within a screenshot.

Google Shopping may have finally broken the stigma and bias shoppers have against using Google’s products as a shopping catalog with these new enhancements. It’s hard to say whether the major increase in products and merchants will also coincide with an increased customer base, but we are optimistic this change is for the better of Google, Shopify, and both of their respective customers and users.

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