So … Google just launched Google Trusted Stores. It’s an initiative that will provide a layer of security for consumers when shopping online: products will actually be sent, cards will only be charged the authorized amounts, and shipping times (and costs!) will not be outrageous.
But really, is Google just doing this out of the goodness of it’s googly heart?
Sure, more trust online is a good thing. Sure, more verification online is good. And sure, more confidence shopping online is great.
Even better is more people buying from stores other than Amazon.
Amazon was already a competitor for Google as it moved more into cloud services for both users and developers, and built its own Android store, and offered streaming movies. Now that Amazon has released its own tablet, the Fire, which runs Android but offers NONE of the Google-supported cloud services (mail, maps, search, etc) built-in, it’s war. (Jean-Louis Gassee has an excellent write-up about this here. Scroll down for the Amazon-Google part.)
As such, it’s a huge threat to Google. Or at least yet another on a long list of potential enemies. And in this case, not even really frenemies.
But just like Android is aimed at Apple, Microsoft, and anyone else with a mobile OS using Google’s long-established shoot-at-the-foundation-not-the-structure strategy, Google Trusted Stores is probably at least partially aimed at Amazon.
Amazon pretty much IS e-commerce. But if Google can get surfers to buy from any store any time with just as simple an experience as the Amazon they-got-my-info-already experience … Amazon’s importance can be diminished.
At the very least, it’s a shot across the bow. A warning shot.
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