Google Poised to Grab Chunk of the $140 Billion U.S. E-commerce Market

By Tracey E. Schelmetic November 05, 2010

Watch out, Amazon and eBay. Google this week announced plans to add features to its existing shopping search site, Google Product Search, which, among other things, will make it easier for users to look for soft goods such as apparel -- a fast-growing area in the $140 billion U.S. e-commerce market, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

To take a piece of this lucrative market from the likes of Amazon and eBay, it would appear that Google plans to leverage the online shopping technology created by Like.com that Google acquired in August of this year. Like.com is a visual product search engine that shows photos of products and compares their prices and availability on different shopping sites and in retail stores.

At the time of the Like.com acquisition, Google stated, “While Like.com will operate its Web sites separately in the near term, we're excited about the technology they've built and the domain expertise they'll bring to Google as we continue to work on building great e-commerce experiences for our users, advertisers and partners.”

While expecting to compete with Amazon and eBay may be ambitious (and Google certainly has a lot of work ahead of it), some analysts think Google's search engine dominance may give it an attractive edge, such as in pursuing combined brick-and-mortar and online marketing, bolstered by location-based technologies. Said Clint Boulton on eWeek's Google Watch blog, “If Google gets its serendipitous [product] search engine to fly in the next couple of years, it's not a stretch to think that people walking by storefronts will get beamed side-by-side results from Google Product Search using the image-recognition technology from Like.com. These results would be paired with inventory info from within participating stores (Google Places members) to show prospective shoppers available merchandise, along with size and color information about what the shops have in stock. “


Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributor

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