Google is now allowing sellers to add their own descriptions and videos to product results in Google Shopping, Retail Dive reports.
The company claims manufacturers that use the new tool, called the Google Manufacturer Center, receive 8% more impressions and 10% more clicks on their results and ads.
This move could be in counter to Amazon's increasing control of the shopping process, starting with the initial search.
- In 2016, 55% of US consumers began their product search on Amazon, up from 44% in 2015, according to a survey by BloomReach. At the same time, only 28% of US consumers said they start the process on search engines like Google, down from 34% in 2015.
- Amazon also leads in mobile shopping searches, with 50% of US consumers starting on its app or site, while search engines garner only 34%.
Google likely hopes manufacturers will be able to better represent their own products in search results. Those improved search results would ideally resonate more with consumers, bringing them back to Google Shopping in the future. However, these updates are unlikely to dissuade consumers from starting their search process on Amazon, as improved Google Shopping performance has not weakened the online retailer’s position in the past.
The company may find more success combating Amazon in voice assistant shopping. Currently, 10% of smart speaker owners regularly purchase items through the technology, and 26% of consumers use their speaker to add items to a shopping list, according to a new survey from NPR. Google has already begun to improve shopping capabilities on its own Google Home smart speaker to control more shopping searches — and it boasts an advantage in that its AI-powered Google Assistant performs significantly better than Amazon’s Alexa. Amazon is working hard to get its Echo speakers into more households, but if Google leverages its AI advantage and popularizes the Google Home, it could win an important portion of the shopping search process.
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