Google has long had an e-commerce arm; its Google Shopping product lets you buy merchandise online from some retailers using your Google Wallet account, but most wouldn't confuse it with a true competitor to Amazon. According to a Wall Street Journal report, however, Google intends to change that. The company is reportedly working on its own "buy now" style button that would let shoppers search for products on Google and purchase them with one click, possibly right through Google's own search results page.
That doesn't mean Google intends to start opening warehouse and stocking products — the sales would continue to be made through third-party sites. But Google's plan apparently has another component to battle Amazon: the company is considering its own Amazon Prime-like plan with selected retailers that would offer free two-day shipping for an annual fee.
According to the WSJ, neither of these plans are confirmed to be moving ahead, but there's a lot of logic behind such a move. Data from research giant Forrester shows that 39 percent of online shoppers in the US last quarter started their research on Amazon, while only 11 percent did so on a search engine like Google. Finding ways to get shoppers to research and buy directly through Google's search engine could be a good way to grab a little of the market back from Amazon. If this does happen, though, it won't be in time for the holidays this year.