Google qui­etly sets out to head­hunt Ama­zon’s shop­pers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - BUSINESS - ALIS­TAIR BARR

GOOGLE is pon­der­ing an in­ter­net ser­vice to help con­sumers shop online and take ad­van­tage of same-day de­liv­ery, hop­ing to curb the loss of Web traf­fic to Ama­zon.com, the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported this week.

The in­ter­net search leader is in talks with ma­jor re­tail­ers and ship­pers, in­clud­ing Macy’s, Gap and Of­fice­max, to set up the ser­vice, the news­pa­per cited sources as say­ing.

Google de­clined to com­ment and Ama­zon did not re­turn calls for com­ment. A Gap spokesper­son de­clined to com­ment, while Macy’s and Of­fice­Max were not avail­able for com­ment.

Google may be cast­ing a wary eye on the pop­u­lar­ity of Ama­zon’s Prime ser­vice – which of­fers free two-day ship­ping for $79 a year in the US – fear­ing it will en­tice away the web traf­fic it de­pends on from its own sites.

About 40 per­cent of Google’s rev­enue comes from re­tail sources, ac­cord­ing to Scot Wingo, chief ex­ec­u­tive of e- com­merce com­pany Chan­nelad­vi­sor.

He ex­plained that Ama­zon Prime had been such a big suc­cess in re­cent years that it had b egun to threaten this big chunk of Google’s rev­enue.

“Once a consumer joins Ama­zon Prime, their searches for prod­ucts at Google have to de­crease pre­cip­i­tously,” Wingo wrote in a blog on Thurs­day.

He owns Google and Ama­zon shares.

“As a Prime user, I only look for prod­ucts on Google and other chan­nels if I can’t find it on Ama­zon,” Wingo added.

“Ama­zon has cre­ated a lockin and they have the world’s best prod­uct search en­gine.

“That’s 40 per­cent of the in­ter­net that Google re­ally can’t af­ford to lose se­ri­ous share on.”

Google’s plan un­der con­sid­er­a­tion stops short of sell­ing di­rectly to con­sumers, the Wall Street Jour­nal said.

Google will in­stead work with re­tail­ers’ web­sites. –

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