Google has this week announced its second retail partnership in a week, this time with leading Chinese retailer JD.com.
Google has invested $550m with the Chinese retailer in a strategic partnership that will see the two work together on new personalised and frictionless shopping experiences for use in regions including Europe, the US and South East Asia. Google says it will bring technology strengths to the partnership while JD has both supply chain and logistics expertise. JD will sells some of its products via Google Shopping in different parts of the world.
The news comes soon after Google started working with Carrefour to further develop its online shopping and broader digitalisation.
JD.com’s chief strategy officer Jianwen Liao said: “This partnership with Google opens up a broad range of possibilities to offer a superior retail experience to consumers throughout the world. This marks an important step int he process of modernising global retail.”
Google chief business officer Phiipp Schindler said: “We are excited to partner with JD.com and explore new solutions for retail ecosystems around the world to enable helpful, personalised and frictionless shopping experiences that give consumers the power to shop wherever and however they want.”
Our view: This news comes just days after Google formed a partnership with French retailer Carrefour that will see Google support Carrefour as it improves its digital capabilities and Carrefour sell via Google Shopping. Together the two partnerships seem to be significant step forward into retail for Google as it looks to find new ways to build on its dominance of the search market. It’s worth noting that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has previously said he sees Google as a prime competitor, ahead of other retailers. This tie up could be Google’s own fast-track to a new ability to link both products and physical retail to its own dominance in search. No doubt it will have spent less, at $550m, than Amazon did as it learned about retail.
Other parallels are with Ocado as it supplies its own technology to retailers in Europe and the US. Mastery of both selling and logistics technology is helping the online grocer to roll out its own expertise around the world faster than it could set up its own operations in those markets.
Image courtesy of JD.com