Investor insight #29: Google Shopping

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Portfolio insights

Share this

Continuing our review of Google’s 2021 developer conference I/O 2021, this insight investigates developments in Google’s Shopping applications. We believe the functionality announced at the conference will create paths for long-term revenue growth and solidify the company’s competitive advantage as a platform for shoppers and merchants.

Google’s announcement

Shopping Graph is a real-time dataset using an AI-enhanced model that presents shoppers with a refined list of brands, products, prices, inventories, reviews and videos appropriate to their search criteria

Expanded partnership with Shopify

Introducing shopping experiences

Google’s Shopping Graph (source: https://blog.google/products/shopping/more-ways-to-shop/)

 

Enriched experience for shoppers

  • Shopping Graph dataset
  • Shopping cart reminders in Chrome show users their open carts enabling one click to return to the site when they are ready to checkout
  • New shopping experiences across apps such as using Google Lens to search images to buy matching products and brands.

Google Lens search (Source: https://blog.google/products/shopping/more-ways-to-shop/)


Greater merchant prominence across platforms

  • Expanded Shopify partnership will allow Shopify’s 1.7 million merchants to feature products across Google Search, Shopping, YouTube and Google Images with just a few clicks
  • Shopping Graph will boost merchant visibility and access to consumers.  


Google’s competitive advantages

Enormous and unrivalled base of users, merchants and products

  • 4 billion users
  • 1 billion shopping searches daily
  • More than 24 billion listings from millions of merchants

Diversity of platforms

  • Integrated leading-edge products enabling users to engage through their chosen media
  • AI-powered tools across applications for consumers and merchants.


Google’s opportunity

The Shopping Graph creates an opportunity to help users intelligently discover and purchase products by providing e-commerce tools that aggregate Google’s user base, products and research.

Visibility is critical to success for SMEs,with 42% of new businesses failing in their first year due to lack of demand for their products or services, according to industry surveys. The Shopping Graph combined with Google’s expanded partnership with Shopify offer an attractive platform for SMEs to reach new customers.  

Advertising revenue: With more than 24 billion product listings, Google dwarfs Amazon’s offering of 350 million products. Yet Amazon’s dominance has driven it to become the third largest advertiser in the US. Its advertising revenue in 2020 was $20 billion. This provides some insight into Google’s opportunity, which is significant, since the extent of its product universe will continue to grow as Google builds partnerships with fast-growing retail platforms such as Shopify.

Global e-commerce advertising revenue 2014 – 2024 (* Estimates)
Source: emarketer.com

About the Author
Sally Fang

Sally Fang

Investment Analyst

Sally joined the investment team in January 2020 and is responsible for research projects related to the Portfolio including concentrated analysis of companies being considered for inclusion. While completing her studies Sally gained valuable research experience through intern positions in the UK, China and Australia.

Sally is a CFA Program participant, having successfully completed level III in 2020. She holds a Bachelor of Economics and Finance from the University of Hong Kong and a Masters in Investment and Wealth Management (Distinction) from Imperial College Business School, London.