Google, Target Form Alliance to Take on Amazon

Oct 13

A war among titans is silently brewing in the online retail arena. Recently, Google announced a partnership with Target, a move that could signal the start of Google’s challenge to eCommerce giant Amazon on its own turf.

Amazon is a serious threat not only to traditional retailers such as Target but to the search engine king Google as well. While Google might be the leader among search engines, many people are heading to Amazon first when looking for a particular product online. According to a Kenshoo survey, Google maintains a relatively small edge over Amazon when it comes product searches.

Which of these online sites are you likely to use to help you find product ideas and information before making a purchase? Facebook - 27%, Retail Websites - 36%, eBay - 38%, Amazon - 72%, Google - 85%

Image via Search Engine Land

In an effort to widen its lead on product searches, Google has set in motion plans to keep Amazon at bay. It has steadily formed alliances with a number of retailers, to collectively put up a stand against a common enemy.

Google announced on Thursday that it will be expanding its year-old delivery deal with Target. Previously available only in New York City and California, the two companies agreed to provide coverage nationwide, according to The Verge.  Shoppers can now order products carried by Target through Google Home smart speaker.

Of course, the arrangement between Google and Target is seen as a direct challenge to Amazon’s service that allows customers to easily order what they want from the online retailer using voice commands through Echo. Though it may be difficult for Google to fend off Amazon in the segment, the company hopes that by partnering with a host of well-known brick-and-mortar stores, people might start seeing Google Home as an alternative to Echo when it comes to voice-activated shopping. And with the growing number of stores joining the alliance, the breadth and variety of products available via the service might be able to compete with Amazon’s dazzling array of options.

Aside from Target, Google already has a similar partnership with Walmart.  In August, the company gained access “hundreds of thousands of items” being sold by the Walmart, Adweek reported. Google also managed to secure agreements with other big retailers such as Home Depot.

What is interesting to note is that the Google and Target deal will likely employ either augmented or virtual reality to lure customers into the service according to a Recode. The speculation is based on the press release given by Mike McNamara Target’s digital chief.

“Target and Google teams are working on … building experiences that digitally replicate the joy of shopping a Target store to discover stylish and affordable products,” McNamara previously announced. Of course, the details are yet to be revealed but it will be interesting to see just how the search giant utilizes an emerging technology like augmented reality to further its business objective.

[Featured Image by Mike Mozart/Flickr]