Google Shopping manager says search giant has no plans to enter the retail business

by: Varun RajDecember 22, 2012

android smartphone shopping

Google is a company known for jumping into completely new businesses, surprising the entire industry. The company is also known to discontinue those businesses when it doesn’t get the results it was hoping for, but that’s not what this post is about.

In an interview with AllThingsD, Google Shopping’s VP of product management Sameer Samat revealed that, despite some predictions, the company has no plans to enter the retail business.

Samat said in the interview “we aren’t planning on being a retailer. We don’t view being a retailer right now as the right decision.” But this claim looks a bit off when we see Google’s recent acquisitions, which suggest that the company is working on building an infrastructure for selling physical items through online stores. The company recently bought Bufferbox, a locker service that provides consumers storage boxes where customers can have their stuff delivered.

On this particular acquisition, Samat said that BufferBox has nothing to do with Google becoming a retailer. According to him, Google purchased the company in order to help other retailers become more competitive. He explained, “we are trying to provide a level playing field for retailers”. He added that there are some companies that have managed to do tech as well as retail well and said “How’s the rest of the retail world going to hit that bar?”

Samat is obviously hinting at Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ company not only has a huge retail business, but also makes its own devices some of which are powered by Google’s own Android OS.

Samat notes that its not Google’s aim to become a retailer itself, but the tech giant wants to help smaller companies compete with big players who have set the bar high. He said “I think it’s great that Amazon and others, like Rakuten, are upping the bar,” and Google wants to “create a level playing field”.

According to AllThingsD, Google has made several changes to its site to improve the overall shopping experience. These include an imaging system that allows users to create 360-degree images of their products, such as this Lego kit.

  • raindog469

    I don’t know why people got the idea that Google would be entering retail just because they bought BufferBox and Amazon’s doing something similar. I’ve had UPS Store mailboxes for home and business for close to 15 years now (opened my first one when they were still called Mail Boxes Etc.) and while our current one is very convenient to our house, there’s only one in our town. If BufferBox becomes as commonplace as RedBox and cheaper than UPS Store, they could seriously shake up the package delivery business, if not the whole US postal system, while learning the real buying habits of everyone who uses them and probably promoting Google Wallet/Google Checkout like crazy.

    I love the high-speed hotspot idea too, though.