Google is said to be launching its shopping tab in India allowing users to search and buy products and direct them to merchant websites or e-commerce platforms for product listings, according to sources. The feature said to be testing for several months and will be piloted soon, prior to a full-fledged launch before the end of the year.
When asked for a comment, a Google spokesperson in an emailed response said, “We are always exploring options to help consumers find the products they want to buy more quickly and efficiently from local merchants.” Google is also said to be in talks with Flipkart, Paytm, Snapdeal to partake in the company’s shopping tab initiative. However, Google at the moment will not fulfill online shopping either through its payment product or otherwise.
It is likely to Tap Into SMEs Besides large e-commerce websites, Google is also expected to tap into its large network of registered small and medium enterprises or SMEs — from neighborhood Kirana stores to high-end handicraft stores to help users discover more products. For now, this service is being offered for free, but this could lead to a big picture where Google eventually setting up an e-commerce marketplace. It will understand the Indian shopping trends through the shopping tab.
This move comes at a time where Amazon is leading the e-commerce market thanks to its Prime programme. “In the US, 50-60% product search begins at Amazon, bypassing Google and cannibalising its market,” said Arpan Sheth, a partner at consulting firm Bain & Company. It is also reported that Google said to be planning on launching the online storefront for its branded hardware products next month.