Google Just Killed its Shopping App – Does it Matter?

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By Published On: April 14, 20210 Comments

Another day, another dead Google App. Google Shopping will no longer available for iOS and Android users in the coming weeks, the company has confirmed. Will it affect Google? Spoiler alert: probably not.

Google Shopping App launched only 19 months ago, which in turn replaced Google Express – an idea set to directly rival Amazon Prime. Google Express shut down at the end of 2019 after the company decided to reevaluate the way it would approach online retail.

Now it seems that the Google Shopping App is the next to go.

What’s Happening to the Google Shopping App?

The Google Shopping app will no longer be supported ‘within the next few weeks’ the business has told 9to5Google and shoppers that use the app as a primary source for e-commerce will have to turn to their mobile browser instead.

Despite the news, Google Shopping will continue to operate via online browsers. In fact, Google will now put all of its efforts into the mobile service and will keep its remaining functionality for shoppers. In addition to its expansion of the mobile platform, Google is planning to investigate and build out features including Augmented Reality.

“Within the next few weeks, we’ll no longer be supporting the Shopping app. All of the functionality the app offered users is available on the Shopping tab,” a Google spokesperson explained. “We’ll continue building features within the Shopping tab and other Google surfaces, including the Google app.”

Before the announcement, some users of the Google Shopping App experienced a graphic that said ‘Something went wrong’.

via Mishaal Rahman @MishaalRahman

Google Shopping will no longer be available as an App | via Mishaal Rahman

Why This Move May Not Affect Google

Does all of this really matter? There are several signs that point to ‘no’ – as Google continues to push online shopping, it is further expanding on its features and functionalities to maximise the platform.

It’s no secret that Google is pushing online shopping pretty hard, and is starting to introduce services such as shoppable links within YouTube videos, Google AR and its microsite that collates the 1000 top-selling items in popular categories.

Google launched its virtual try-on format in December 2020. The services work in conjunction with makeup brands like L’Oreal, MAC and Charlotte Tilbury, to try on and test products online.

Google also debuted The Best Things for Everything Guide in March 2021, a pop-up microsite that collected the 1000 most popular searched items from the search engine.

Furthermore, rumour has it that Chrome is developing a new shopping module named Chrome Cart. When a user opens a new tab on Chrome, they’d start to see a series of products in Google Shopping that the user had previously searched for, with prices listed underneath, and the opportunity to purchase directly. This has the hopes of reducing cart abandonment rates for e-commerce platforms.

But wait, there’s more. According to Chrome Unboxed, there is a chance that Google is debuting an Assistant Memory feature, which lives inside the Google Assistant and Search app. Essentially, it allows the user to record a voice command, such as an item to a grocery list, which they can refer to again at a later time. As voice assistant services continue to mature, this feels like a natural progression, especially as online grocery retailers gain further momentum in a post-COVID world.

So, does the removal of the Google Shopping App really matter? Not in the long-term. Google knows that e-commerce is here to stay, and will continue to push the online shopping functionality as hard as it can, even if that means fine-tuning and pulling the plug on previous projects and plans to get there.

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About the Author: Ally Feiam

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