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Google to pilot Shopping tab, in talks for partnership with Flipkart, Paytm, Snapdeal


After launching its cloud subscription program for the Indian audience, search engine behemoth Google is planning to launch Shopping tab for users in the country to search for products to buy.

The Shopping tab will be piloted soon before the full-fledged nation-wide launch. The tab will direct users to merchant websites or e-commerce platforms for product listings, said sources close to the development.

Similar to the ‘News’ or ‘Images’ tabs on the Google search page, the Shopping tab allows users to shift through different merchant listings of the product they are looking for.

Google is talking to e-commerce firms such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm for partnership. It plans to partner with retailers of all sizes, informing the user where the product is available, added one of the sources. It plans to leverage its large network of registered small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help users discover products they want.

“We want to help consumers find the products they want to buy more quickly and efficiently from local merchants,” a Google spokesperson was quoted as saying by an ET report.

Currently, Google lists products through its ‘product listing ads. The Shopping tab is functional in 30 countries.

The move is said to be a precursor of Google’s plan to eventually kick off its e-com play in India. This is also seen to be the outcome of Google’s declining ad revenue and reducing market share to Amazon, which claims more than 60 percent search in the US, on product searches in the US.

According to experts, Google, like Amazon, is first trying to study and understand shopping trends in the country. It eyes to reach to around 80 million Indian shoppers.

Last week, the search engine giant was reportedly planning to launch online storefront for its hardware products such as smart speakers, virtual reality gears and smartphone. The firm has been talking to Ingram Micro, the US distributor of IT products, to operate and manage fulfilment.

At present, Google operates web platform store.google.com in India that enables users to locate offline and online platforms to buy its products. It also plans to sell through authorised partners from November.

Besides, Google also launched its cloud subscription program for the Indian audience. The low-cost storage plan will provide expanded user storage that spans across its products such as Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos.

After its earlier failed talks with Flipkart, Google is planning to launch an e-commerce site. And it has been ramping up for an e-commerce play through investments.

In the last few months, it has invested in Fynd, Aye Finance and dunzo. In 2017, it forayed in digital space with Google Pay (Earlier named ‘Tez’).

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