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Interesting piece on about how Google is struggling to "boost its central search business by providing shoppers who are researching products and looking for nearby retailers with additional services such as price comparison tools and ways to pay for purchases." The story notes that Google is shutting down "the Google Shopper app, which enables users to scan products or use voice and text search to compare prices for products. The services will be integrated into Google’s search apps, with product reviews, photos, details and other information being a part of these apps going forward."

This integration, the story says, will be designed to encourage mobile users to take advantage of Google's price comparison services, as opposed to Amazon's - which currently are used twice as often.

At the same time, the company is hoping to be able to drive more business to Google Wallet, which it had hoped to position as an alternative to PayPal, though to this point this strategy hasn't gained much traction, at least in part because retail realities haven't caught up with the technology. (Or vice-versa.)

Still, Google seems to remain confident, if only because consumption realities seem to be working in its favor: "Using a mobile device to compare product prices while inside a store is a popular mobile activity with consumers, with 58 percent of adult smartphone owners and one-third of all adults in the United States showrooming regularly, according to a recent report from parago."
KC's View:
If I'm understanding this correctly, one of the big wins for Google will be if it can tie all this stuff together with advertising - connecting the search for competitive product information with ads that drive the shopper one way or the other, and then allowing people to use Google technology to pay for their purchase, no matter where or how they buy it. Not only does that seem like a pretty streamlined purchase chain, but it also puts real meat on the bones of a purchase, with marketers able to determine precisely what worked and maybe even why.

The story suggests that this is all going to happen, one way or the other. And the mandate at Google is that it has to be part of it.

And speaking of being part of the broader world of commerce, check out our next story...