- Google plans to add more shopping features to its Google Pay payment app as part of a major overhaul. The goal is to turn Google Pay into a "one-stop portal for commerce," The Information reported, citing two people familiar with the plans.
- The redesigned Google Pay will have branded buttons from merchants, letting customers place orders or pay for services inside the payment app. Google is working on plans to get gas stations, convenience stores, restaurants and delivery companies on board with the platform, per the publication's report.
- Many of the functions already are available in Tez, Google's version of the payment app in India. Tez offers a variety of services within the app, including ride hailing and food ordering, The Information reported.
Google's plans to expand Google Pay into an all-in-one app that handles a variety of services may give mobile marketers a chance to showcase their brands in the search giant's contactless payment app. While Americans have tended to resist the idea of using their mobile phones as digital wallets, the coronavirus pandemic has led to greater interest in contactless payment services from technology firms such as Google and Apple because of sanitary concerns around handling cash. That change in behavior is an opportunity for Google to provide a more seamless shopping experience for users.
For Google, the expansion of Google Pay to include shopping would be a significant step in the company's growing e-commerce ambitions. In recent years, it has sought to expand beyond paid search advertising by bolstering its services for online merchants. The company in April stopped charging merchants a fee to list products on its Google Shopping search pages as consumers shifted their spending habits online while brick-and-mortar stores were closed. Google this year added a shopping section that lets mobile users see a variety of clothing and accessories products from multiple online stores. Last year, the company redesigned Google Shopping to include features like price-tracking, which followed efforts that brought new ad formats to the Shopping tab.
Google is seeking to boost online shopping as it faces growing competition from rivals like Amazon and other online retailers that are encroaching on its paid search business. Amazon's push into the digital advertising space has led some marketers to shift as much as 50% to 60% of their search budgets from Google to Amazon in recent years. Amazon has become the most popular starting point for product searches as well, per researcher Jumpshot.