Google makes moves further into online retail with Channel Intelligence acquisition

Moving into retail market

Google is buying Channel Intelligence (CI) for USD125m as it attempts to enhance shopping results displayed on its search engine (reports StrategyEye). Founded in 1999, CI helps retailers, brands and manufacturers make their products and services easy to find and buy online, as well as tracking purchases made on the internet.

The move is just the latest sign that Google is moving further into the online retail space as it looks to become the go-to destination for consumers to search for and find products online.

Speculation that Google might get into the shopping game has increased in the past few months, with many wondering if the firm is building up the infrastructure to start selling physical products. It already sells its own hardware, including the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 7 tablet, and relaunched its product search as ‘Google Shopping’. It also recently bought postal storage firm BufferBox, with many suggesting that the acquisition signified plans to move into e-commerce by providing consumers with a place to pick up items bought online. But, speaking to AllThingsD recently, the firm’s shopping VP, Sameer Samat, says that Google is looking to help existing retailers, rather than sell products itself.

“We aren’t planning on being a retailer, we don’t view being a retailer right now as the right decision,” he says. “We are trying to provide a level playing field for retailers.”

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