Google Pushes Deeper into Retail, Publishing and Possibly VR
March 24, 2018
Google started dipping its toes into the online shopping pool not long ago, and while Amazon still holds the prize in revenue per year regarding ecommerce, Google is working hard to catch up. In fact, the latest update to hit the Google marketplace is a cost-per-sale (CPS) feature that will allow for a more streamlined checkout from anywhere.
The google “shopping” feature provides access to products worldwide, but problems exist in the checkout process. Unlike Amazon, which pools products globally into one easy checkout tool, Google users still need to checkout from specific platforms or use specific processes to make a purchase. This update has a goal of putting an end to this issue, making it possible for consumers to shop on any device, with a universal checkout process.
Google’s goal in this change is not just to make shopping easier for the consumer. The change will also increase the search engine giant’s chances against longtime rival Amazon. The shopping Actions feature recently announced supports shopping through Google Assistant via over 40 participating retailers who utilize mobile wallet and similar applications. This latest change will coincide with the Shopping Actions feature to make it easier than ever for Google users to buy from Google Home or Google Assistant, among other devices and tools.
The key to this innovation is a shopping cart that works with all of these individual tools and mobile devices. As long as users save their information through Google, they can share shopping lists and checkout anywhere that’s supported by Google. To get in on this action, businesses looking to hook up with the Google sales format will pay a CPS rate, meaning that a payment is made for each sale through the Shopping Actions feature. This is another step to assimilate itself to Amazon, as they already utilize this type of revenue gaining technique with each sale made through their website.
Google Supports Publishers
Another big change to the Google platform rolled out this week by the search engine giant is the launching of a new Google News feature to introduce a broader workspace for publishing companies. This is meant to increase the quality of journalism, promote revenue and growth to publishing businesses, and offer more technology to publishers.
As part of this initiative, Google is investing 300-million dollars to help real journalists increase their readership and draw attention away from fraudulent news sites and articles which have become a dime a dozen over the last few years. Google users who want to be privy to this new honest way of reporting can subscribe quickly and easily. Publishers are then given subscriber info to better share stories, news, and updates.
Before rolling everything out, Google decided to test the process with a few select publishers. They worked with the Washington Post and others to try out the click subscription method and determine its value and ease for users. By requiring a subscription for these types of articles, real news will rank higher in Google, and users will be sure they’re receiving access to reliable authoritative information.
Google has reported that this change in subscriptions will not render previous algorithm updates useless. In fact, they have made it clear that their ranking system will not change, but rather, include more results than less. Subscriptions will also benefit real journalists, who Google hopes to promote, by increasing readership and revenue for those individual reporters and resources.
Included with these changes for publishers, Google is including a new Dashboard, which is analytics-centric, and will provide user data to publishing firms so that they can better determine what readers want to see and where they are going to read it. This will also increase growth for publishers, and possibly help traffic to their sites.
Potential Buy for Google to Gain More VR Momentum
In a non-confirmed article about Google, reports indicate that the search engine giant may be purchasing Lytro, a camera startup company founded in 2006, which specializes in plenoptic or light-field cameras. This camera is different from the standard camera which only captures light intensity, because it also picks up light direction and other information regarding light in a photo scene.
Google has yet to confirm or deny the purchase, but sources suggest that acquisition will cost Google between $25 and $40-million. Lytro is unique to the light-field camera industry because they currently hold 59 patents for their product, which was the first of its kind of be offered to the general public, as opposed to being used for scientific research and professional purposes only. Reports indicate that a $25-$40-million price tag will mean a big loss for the company which has invested hundreds of millions of dollars over the year to improve products and promote sales.
While the real reasons for Google possible interest in Lytro is unknown, it can be assumed that the company is hoping to excel over competitors in the field of cameras and digital imagery. Google has recently invested in the virtual reality space, and Lytro could be a key to improving their experience over other VR brands, like Samsung. Most VR products are relatively similar, so to have new information or patented products that improve it could put Google on top in this race.
There are likely more Google updates to be seen in the coming weeks and months. Keep an eye out for more information on Lytro and Google’s possible ownership of the company.