E-commerce in India was a very complicated process, but it is now limited to just two big players controlling a huge piece of the market along with many small operators operating at a very local level or with over-expertise. And while it's easy to search and buy a product on either Amazon India or Flipkart, you may not always know where to look for anything else.
Fortunately, Google is always there. A simple search will give you the information you need, but will often be amongst a number of other information you may not necessarily need. Your search will lead you to a wealth of information, making you look specifically at the entry you want. This is not always easy for everyone, and while millions who grew up with Internet access may know how to make things "Google" effective, the masses find all these words and lines confused. That's where Google Shopping enters.
What is Google Shopping?
First of all, Google does not launch its own e-commerce portal. Google Shopping is based on the company's know-how as a search engine, simply by letting you filter all the others and giving you the specific information you need to buy a product online. Disconnects the search function, leaving only what is relevant from the buyer's side. You can sort results based on price and seller and view the images, pricing and a brief description of each entry without an extra click.
The products are sold by various online retailers depending on what you are looking for. The wide range of products offered on platforms like Amazon India and Flipkart means that these two e-commerce gates will most likely dominate most searches, but depending on what you are looking for, you will also see listings from specialized online stores. The homepage - google.com/shopping or shopping.google.com - shows you different listings based on what Google thinks you might be interested in. In my case, I saw the smartphone lists on top, as they dominate my search history on Google.
How does Google Shopping work?
At the top is a search bar, which allows you to search for something specific. This time I'm looking for a new cupboard for my home, so it was my first search on Google Shopping. What I found was a pleasant set of clear lists that showed a picture of the closets, the price and the e-shop that sold it. In addition to the two big names, I also found entries from Pepperfry and Urban Ladder, who are experts in the furniture industry. A similar search in Google's general search shows me a few entries but with a lot of clutter, since Google Maps sites, Indiamart entries, and a series of ads are showing.
Clicking on an interesting list showed me some more details, including one link to visit the real seller of the product. In that case, by clicking me I went to the Flipkart page for the closet I liked, allowing me to see more details and finish the purchase if I wished it. Therefore, the Google Shopping tool was much more effective to provide me with relevant information and useful links, assuming I was ready to buy the product online.
It is worth mentioning here that my search was general, so the entries were wide. But what if you know exactly what you want? Google Shopping can also offer search links to specific products, and tried to look for some popular smartphones available today, OnePlus 6T and Xiaomi Poco F1.
OnePlus 6T is officially available on Amazon India and oneplus.in, but for some strange way the official website is very low on the list and my top results have shown smaller companies selling OnePlus 6. Since Google Shopping wants to promote less popular products and small to medium sized companies, this can be smart to some extent.
However, it does not always lead you to the most appropriate link or even the safest place to shop, so caution is required. The Xiaomi Poco F1 has somewhat better results with the official lists Flipkart at the top and the Mi.com/in list also appears somewhere in the list. And compared to standard Google Search, it definitely helps to decongest pages with powerful SEO that Google will initially promote.
Google Shopping: First Impressions
It's not perfect at this time, but Google Shopping certainly has features if you're looking for products that are not what you usually buy online. Even with more conventional products, such as smartphones, Google Shopping can help by showing you only targeted searches. The key benefit of saving your time and helping to clarify results makes Google Shopping an unforgettable experience.
We look forward to it as soon as possible in Greece!