Google Shopping prices often beat Amazon’s

November 7, 2016 06:30 AM

Budget-minded shoppers might want to take a break from checking prices on Inc. to comparison shop using Google Shopping, Google’s comparison shopping service, according to a new analysis from Canadian price monitoring firm 360pi Corp.

The research shows more than half of U.S. online consumers begin their product searches on Amazon’s website or mobile app and 84% of holiday shoppers this year say they check Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, before looking or buying elsewhere. But if the shoppers stop there, they often will not get the best possible price, 360pi finds.

The firm compared prices of 750 Amazon-reported Best Sellers across nine product categories to the same products on Google Shopping and finds that Amazon offered the lowest price only 25% of the time. Google Shopping advertisers, however, offered a lower price on those items 59% of the time when compared to as the merchant of record and 58% when compared to sellers on Amazon’s marketplace. The Amazon and Google prices were the same 16% of the time.

Google Shopping is a kind of Google ad that allows online merchants list their products for a fee. Retailers pay for the ads on a cost-per-click basis.

The competitive pricing indicates that Google is looking to become a dominant player in e-commerce, says Jenn Markey, vice president, marketing at 360pi.

“When someone wants to research something they start on Google; when they want to buy something they start on Amazon. Google knows this and needs Google Shopping to succeed—as much from an opportunity as a threat perspective,” Markey says. “With endless opportunities for product placement in its core search business, Google is upping the ante with aggressive pricing on Google Shopping and hoping shoppers take notice.”

The image-focused ads, which are also called Product Listing Ads, are set to account for more than half of retailers’ paid search clicks by the end of the year, according to a recent report from performance marketing agency Merkle Group Inc. Merkle says marketers spent 36% more on Google Shopping ads during the third quarter than they did in the same period a year earlier. Merkle also reported that Google Shopping ads accounted for 48% of retailers’ Google paid search clicks in the quarter, a two percentage point increase from the second quarter.

In its analysis, 360pi looks at Amazon Best Sellers in the categories of beauty and health; electronics and computers; household; home and garden; movies, music and games; office and school supplies; sports and outdoors; tools and home improvement; and toys and games. The product data includes new and available items only. Used and refurbished items are excluded. Google Shopping pricing and product information is based on Google Shopping search results. If more detailed or different information was available on the seller’s own site, that information was not included in the analysis.





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