As mobile ramps up in the lives of consumers everywhere Google is taking an aggressive position to combine its suite of products to play a dominate role in local business. Several key product releases and announcements from Google paint a path to where I think they are headed. Despite the title of this post I think there’s plenty of room and a healthy competition for Google in the local retail space but here are five reasons why I think Google will be a force to be reckoned with.
Google’s latest social network attempt has surged with new users in only weeks. No one knows how things will play out over the coming months and years as the early adopter community is tapped out and focus turns to the early and late majority users.
2. Google Shopper
Point of Sale is a big deal and Google is making a progress in this direction by leveraging Shopper. According to Stephanie Tilenius, vice-president of Google Commerce, Google Shopper is used by 15 percent of Android users. Reported to be “north of 5 million” users.
3. Google Offers
Google Offers was launched recently in the New York and San Francisco Bay Area with a handful of other locations coming soon. After unsuccessfully trying to buy Groupon for $6 Billion I guess Google decided they could just built it in-house. I still don’t think Groupon is worth anything close to $6 Billion.
4. Google Wallet
Google Wallet has yet to be released but with its tie in to Android and the Nexus S, on-board NFC capabilities and recent partnership announcements with various financial institutions it’s going to be very exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing the open commerce ecosystem in action.
5. Google Checkout
Not sure if Google Checkout will eventually be rolled into one of the other products Google is currently working on or if it will remain as-is but it has come to be a relable payment option for many online and mobile users. Google uses it for many of its in-house billing requirements like the Android Marketplace and Google Apps payments processing. One area it was surprisingly absent for me was Google AdWords payment processing.
Individually, Google services all have fierce competition in their respective categories. As Mark Hachman points out in his PC mag post PayPal and Square offer challenges on the payment front, while Facebook and Foursquare tie deals to locations and checkins. By combining its suite of products Google may have the critical mass to lead the way in the local retail commerce marketplace.