Google is looking to take the fight to Amazon, for its shoppers. According to a report, the search giant is "rapidly" adding more merchants to Google Express, and planning a major rebrand. Among other changes.
Google Express has been around for quite a while, it's a great way for people to order products from partners like Costco and Target (Walmart just withdrew from Express in the past few weeks). There's also Google Assistant support for voice shopping, similar to Amazon Alexa. The report did not note which retailers that Google has been adding recently, just that it has been "rapidly adding retailers". So your guess is as good as ours as to what retailers Google has on-board.
Apparently, Google Express will be renamed to Google Shopping. This makes plenty of sense, as Google Shopping is already integrated into Google's main website, and shows links for products from various retailers when you search for them. The name "Google Express" seemed a bit odd for shopping, so bringing them together is probably the best idea that Google has had in a while.
On top of making more sense with this rebrand, it also allows Google to provide a single destination for its users to visit. Google has also been revamping its Shopping products – not only in the US, but also around the world. Which does make it look like Google is really getting serious about getting into the shopping business and competing with Amazon.
A big reason for Google getting serious about shopping, is because its search business has seen a bit of a hit in terms of revenue. Seeing as search is still its biggest business, responsible for over 90-percent of its revenue, annually. So when that starts to take a hit, a company of this size needs to look elsewhere to bring in more revenue. And that's where shopping comes into play. As it wants a piece of Amazon's pie right now.
This might be a bit surprising, that Google is going for Amazon's throat with the changes to Express. And that's because Amazon and Google recently made up, and are bringing each others services to their products. So Amazon Prime Video is coming to Android TV (other than the SHIELD TV), and YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV coming to Fire TV and Fire Tablets. So the fight between Amazon and Google is going to be heating up again, even though they recently made up.
There's no word yet on when these changes are going to be coming to Google Express, and Google has not announced anything just yet. Normally, with Google I/O next week, we'd be pretty sure that these changes would be announced next week. But Google doesn't typically talk about Google Express or Shopping at I/O, so this would be a bit of a surprise to be announced next week. However, Google is already making some changes at I/O this year, so it could happen. Or it might be announced later in the year, via a press release from Google.