Earlier this year, Google announced it would rebrand Google Express to create a universal shopping service across all of Google’s products. Now, that rebrand has officially happened, and you can check out Google’s Amazon competitor — Google Shopping — for yourself.
What is changing?
Right off the bat, the most substantial changes are the obvious ones. The entire app has been redesigned with Google’s modern Material Design in mind.
When you first launch the app, it explains that apart from a minor face-lift, the app remains relatively unchanged. Google simply updated the name, icon, and general look of the existing Google Express app.
Once you get inside the app, you will notice the left-hand navigation drawer has been replaced by a simplified toolbar at the bottom. This change makes sense given the latest Android 10 navigation gestures and the increased one-handed usability. The search bar remains at the top of the application for easy item searching.
Google Shopping’s Home page is beautifully designed and full of personalized product recommendations. The neighboring Browse tab offers curated “departments” for users to peruse through. Some of these departments include electronics, grocery items, and apparel.
The Lists tab allows the user to organize shopping lists and keep track of receipts from purchased made both inside and outside of the app. The far right Account tab houses the settings, allows the user to access quick order items that they purchase frequently, and manage their previous orders.
Overall, the Google Shopping experience is generally the same as Google Express just a little simpler. Unlike Amazon, it doesn’t store or ship any of the items you purchased. It is simply a shopping hub where customers could take a look at what various retailers are selling.
This rebrand has been long overdue. In 2013, Google first announced Google Express, and it never quite took off. It launched in a select few areas as a same-day delivery service, working with retailers like Target, Office Depot, and several others to compete with Amazon.
That model changed over the years, and Google Express was made available everywhere in the United States. Fast forward to 2019, and now people can use the service to shop online for many different products from varying retailers.
In the end, Google Express wasn’t living up to what Google wanted it to be. But instead of releasing a whole new service, Google thought it was more effective to rebrand its existing service.
Leveraging its existing infrastructure, Google simply had to change the design and marketing of the product to align with its future aspirations. Now, with this latest update, the future of Google Shopping looks brighter than Google Express’ ever did.
Why Google Shopping matters
Unlike other online retailers, Google’s presence spans the entirety of the web. From music to movies, from managing documents to finding addiction recovery resources, Google is there. Google Shopping aims to take advantage of this interconnected presence to offer a cohesive and competitive online shopping experience.
According to Google, this update offers “new, immersive ways for shoppers to discover and compare millions of products from thousands of stores.” Google hopes to achieve this by one day connecting Google Shopping to services like YouTube and Google Images.
Participating merchants’ products are already seamlessly integrated into some services, and consumers can purchase those items using a universal shopping cart directly on Google Shopping, anywhere on Google.com, or even through Google Assistant. The ability to add this functionality into other Google Services gives Google Shopping quite the advantage over the competition.
In the future, if you see a pair of headphones you want to buy on YouTube from a participating merchant, you can add it to your cart, and that same cart is visible later when you are looking at new gaming laptops on Google Images. This nomadic shopping cart has the potential to compete with retailers Amazon like Google Express failed to do in the past.