Google attempts to beat Amazon with new shopping features

The new plans for Google's Shopping service are eerily similar to features already in place at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

According to inside contacts, Google has approached retailers about creating a "buy" button for Google Shopping, similar to Amazon's popular "one-click ordering" feature. Of course, up until now, Google Shopping has referred shoppers to merchants' websites via links in search results.

Google executives know that the search giant needs to better compete with Amazon in the e-commerce realm. Thirty-nine percent of U.S. online shoppers began researching their purchases on Amazon in the third quarter of 2014 and only 11 percent started on search engines such as Google, according to Forrester Research In 2009, 24 percent started on search engines and 18 percent began searching for products on Amazon.

"Amazon is increasingly running away with online retail in North America, which poses a huge problem for Google," Jeremy Levine, an e-commerce investor at Bessemer Venture Partners, told The Wall Street Journal. "Google has to get in front of this and create a reasonable alternative."

Google executives are also considering a marketing program that would allow merchants to promote two-day shipping for products purchased through Google Shopping. The program would resemble ShopRunner, which offers unlimited two-day shipping from retailers such as Neiman Marcus Group Inc. and Toys "R" Us Inc. for an annual fee. This move is also a direct affront by Google to compete with Amazon's wildly popular "Amazon Prime" service, which features two-day shipping.

However, the "Buy" button may not come to fruition – at least in its current conception. Many retailers Google has been surveying about the addition believe there will be too much price competition in an online bazaar type format.

For more:
-See this Wall Street Journal article

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