After Amazon and Walmart, yet another global multinational giant has thrown its hat into India’s e-commerce ring.
After months of speculation, Google has launched Google Shopping in India. Google Shopping will let customers buy in India buy items either through its own site, or through a separate tab on Google search. Google Shopping was first launched by the company in 2012, and currently runs in nearly 25 countries. India is the latest country to join the list.
Unlike Flipkart and Amazon, Google Shopping won’t fulfil any orders on its own — instead, it will only list out products from third party sellers. Clicking on a phone through Google Shopping’s homepage, for instance, lists out the sellers where the phone can be bought from. After choosing a seller, users are then directed to its site, where they can make the final purchase.
Google Shopping, thus, doesn’t compete with either Flipkart or Amazon directly, but can prove to be a thorn in their sides nonetheless. Google gets billions of search queries per day, and it’ll hope that its users in India will start searching for products through Google Shopping to reach Flipkart, Amazon, or any other retailer that they might wish to make their purchase from. By wedging itself between customers and etailers, Google will, like in search, get to determine which etailer gets how much business, and in effect make how much money.
For now, Google says it’s not running on a revenue sharing business with etailers, but will run ads on its service. This means that like with search, etailers will end up paying Google money to make their products more prominent, and thus end up creating a lucrative income stream for the company.
But all this is contingent on how popular Google Shopping ends up becoming in India. For now, it seems to have a clean and simple interface, and has products across categories like electronics, appliances, health and beauty, and even men’s and women’s clothing. There is a separate section for deals as well. Google Shopping could come in handy for users who want to browse a selection of sites at once, without having to visit each etailer individually. And given how it’s integrated with search, it’ll end up generating lots of traffic without a lot of effort. Flipkart and Amazon had thus far been slugging it out with each other for India’s e-commerce pie — Google Shopping, if it can take off, could end up throwing a spanner in the works for both their plans.