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Google: We Have No Plans To Go Retail

In a recent interview with AllThingsD, Google’s VP of Shopping Sameer Samat said that the company has no plans to become a retailer like Amazon despite how things look on Google Shopping and Google Play. Being a retailer at this point would not be the right decision, he said.

Speculation about becoming a full-fledged online retailer began to emerge after Google acquired shopping locker service BufferBox in late November. The Waterloo, Ontario-based start-up provides users with temporary lockers in central locations that accept packages from online merchants. Once a package arrives, the user receives an email containing a one-time-use code. Once the package is acquired, the locker is used for another customer.

Why anyone would think Google was going full-blown retail based on this acquisition is anyone's guess. According to AllThingsD, "some" have wondered if Google is currently building an infrastructure to fully move into the retail space. Updates to Google Shopping's visual presentation don't help alleviate the speculation, as the report points out.

"A deeper dive into the Shopping experience reveals that some of the product pages have a blue button in the top right-hand corner that could easily be mistaken for Amazon’s 'Add to Cart' yellow button," AllThingsD reports.

But Samat said that the BufferBox acquisition had nothing to do with becoming an Amazon competitor. Instead, the move was about helping other retailers become more competitive. Indeed, Google now has a way for its listed retailers to offer products to consumers who may not have a set or secure location to receive packages.

"We are trying to provide a level playing field for retailers," he said.

Samat also joked about receiving "The Least Popular Dude" award for the complete overhaul made to Google Shopping over the summer. The new system forces retailers to pay a fee for making sure their products appear within Google Shopping. Previously merchants could upload their data feed for free, but for this holiday season, this will be the first time they've had to pay to participate.

Thus, rather than becoming an actual retailer, Google merely wants to be a retailer's best friend while selling its own hardware on the side. Call it a refined search engine for merchants that makes it easy for consumers to search for a product served up all across the internet rather than within a refined network.

To read the full interview, head here.

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  • kinggremlin
    translate.google.com translation:

    "Everything is in place and we will announce our move into retail sometime early next week."
    Reply
  • fuzzion
    Title should read:

    "Google reassures partners that they will not get buggered from the back"
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    Indeed, Google now has a way for its listed retailers to offer products to consumers who may not have a set or secure location to receive packages.

    That makes good sense when you have these types of problems:
    http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/12/21/ups-employee-caught-stealing-ipad-delivery/?hpt=hp_t3
    Reply
  • trumpeter1994
    So they're in a way turning Google shopping into a bigger money maker like the did with Youtube, only obviously to a somewhat lesser degree.
    Reply
  • freggo
    All you need is an emailed code to retrive your package from the locker?
    No ID check or anything?

    Sounds like the perfect setup for use as a 'drop' when shopping with a stolen ID !
    Reply
  • nebun
    interesting....yet they are selling the chrome book....if that's not retail, then i don't know what it is
    Reply
  • mlopinto2k1
    nebuninteresting....yet they are selling the chrome book....if that's not retail, then i don't know what it isI think they mean making a brick and mortar google store. Maybe?
    Reply
  • whiteodian
    If only they could get the Nexus 4 back in stock. Then maybe they could dive into retail.
    Reply
  • jonjonjon
    googles shopping website is horrible. anytime i try using it i quickly find myself going to newegg who usually has better prices anyway. google also now offers some shipping purchase protection. if you order something on newegg or tigerdirect you get a message for free purchase protection from google.
    Reply