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Tech maneuvers: Google Express, Amazon, Linkedin Learning and Facebook

Google ecommerce (Google Express) is heading to China with the help of JD.com and other Chinese collaborators. With so many retailers beholden to Amazon, an increased market share for both Google, Facebook and Walmart retail, will provide a more balanced portfolio of revenue.

Both Google and retailers need this: Even with low revenue from Google Express if a lower margin has to be introduced – Google stand to take back significant ad revenue from Amazon, as retailers throw a lot of money down a big black hole on Amazon pay per click.

Ecommerce and digital strategists should note these 2 Interesting moves from Google:

1. Google News now appears as standard on mobile search screens:

SEO has changed remarkably with recommendation making up a big portion of search. This means that brands need to focus more on how to appear in newsfeeds, particularly Google News. Publishers on the other hand will have to consider ways to comply with Google News policies as they seek to accommodate retailers who want to take up primary real estate on mobile screens. This is effectively a form of remarketing: since news feeds will display topics that readers have already expressed an interest in.

2. The Ecommerce homepage at Google has been redesigned:

Clearly a lot of UX testing and comparison has been going on and Google is making an effort to attract shoppers once more.

Considering the landscape for large tech oligopolies, a few more changes will be desired:

Strategists, analysts and board members are always plotting the next move. There are three segments in particular which are ripe for the picking once tech oligopolies make their move.

E-learning: 

Marketplaces such as Udemy and Linkedin learning are currently dominating and devaluating e-learning as an industry. Linkedin learning in particular, is a global business yet with very little participation from international talent. Udemy and Fiverr are slowly changing that, however should Amazon, Facebook or Google decide to enter e-learning, this can truely revolutionize the industry and break the monopoly Microsoft attempts to wield over the short courses and occupational training markets.

Freelancing:

Linkedin is a global platform deriving earnings on the back of a global audience: it is ranking in Google search for the names of important people in every other country, yet it only promotes US talent via the Linkedin PROFinder. This needs to go global in order to reciprocate value with all the millions of professionals in Europa, Asia and elsewhere in the world which brought Linkedin to power. It will naturally provide a good counterbalance to other freelancing platforms that charge extortionate fees and drive modern slavery. This is an opportunity to bring about workforce equality in epic proportions. The BREXIT government in the UK is looking into hampering the so-called “gig” economy – which may have an impact on freelancing in various regions but how successful will they be?

Entertainment:

Facebook and Amazon has tried to take on Youtube for a piece of the entertainment market. The fact is that the resources used to run online video entertainment are the most complex element required for e-learning. With minimal efforts, all BIG TECH oligopolies can easily liberate suppliers in entertainment and e-learning from the dominance of single players. It is certainly a space to watch.

As hundreds of brands in the middle to lower areas of the digital ecosystem seeks diversity in their strategy, an even spread among big TECH as supplier channels is desirable. If this means Google making a grand entry into China before taking market share from Amazon in the home market (US), it is certainly one way of achieving a worthy goal.

Adriaan Brits

As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment and business. He covers mostly topics related to his qualifications. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media. He also writes for Jpost.com, BestTechie, CEOWorld Magazine and other media outlets.
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