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CNBC reports that in the year since Amazon acquired Whole Foods, Google “has become an increasingly attractive partner for retailers looking for ways to compete with Amazon, allowing it to explore new business models and alliances.

“For example, Target, Walmart, Costco and others all agreed to a new advertising program with Google that makes their products appear in search and through its smart, voice-activated Assistant at the same time, with a universal shopping cart that routes purchases through its Express shopping delivery service. Instead of paying for an ad, the retailers now have to give Google a cut of each purchase. It's an interesting new model for Google and helps retailers stay on par with Amazon by giving consumers a simple, consistent purchasing process.”

The story says that “there's been a kind of perfect storm where retailers are worried about losing sales to Amazon while Google's worried about losing product advertising.”
KC's View:
Google and other companies offer the tools for retailers to explore new ways to come to market. Retailers, which I think largely have accepted the idea that inevitable changes are happening all around them, now have to accept the idea that they have to be faster and more nimble in making moves, taking swings, and accepting occasional defeat as a cost of gaining victories.