Google Attracts Partnerships Post-Amazon/Whole Foods Deal


One year after Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, one surprising company is reaping rewards from the deal: Google.

According to CNBC, Google has been attracting partnerships with retailers looking for ways to compete with Amazon. In fact, Target, Walmart, Costco and others have signed on for a new advertising program with Google that makes their products appear in search, as well as through its smart, voice-activated Assistant, with a universal shopping cart that routes purchases through its Express shopping delivery service.

But now, instead of paying for an ad — the retailers have to give Google a cut of each purchase.

And earlier this month, Google announced a partnership with French supermarket giant Carrefour which will center around three initiatives: a new buying experience from Carrefour across Google platforms (Assistant, Google Home and a new experience on the Google Shopping website in France); the opening of an innovation lab in Paris this summer, in partnership with Google Cloud, where Carrefour engineers will work side-by-side with Google Cloud AI experts to co-create new consumer experiences; and a training program to accelerate the digital transformation of Carrefour Group.

These retail partnerships with Google are beneficial on both ends. For retailers, there’s an increase in visibility and consumer convenience. For Google, its shopping service can help it win back product searches from Amazon and stay relevant in eCommerce.

Amazon’s Whole Foods deal had a ripple effect, according to Joe Rosenberg, a former strategic partnerships specialist for Google Shopping.

“It was a real wake-up call,” Rosenberg, who left Google in April to launch an eCommerce consulting firm, told CNBC. “Deals we’d been discussing for years were suddenly fast-tracked to retailers’ C-suites.”

And Guru Hariharan, CEO of eCommerce startup Boomerang, says that the partnership deals are a result of retailers being worried about losing sales to Amazon and Google’s concern about losing product advertising.

“The Whole Foods acquisition created a tremendous amount of urgency in the market,” Hariharan explained to CNBC. “Both sides are feeling pain. If you’re fighting the same enemy, maybe you can figure something out.”