eBay Australia, Google team up for a more personalised shopping experience

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A woman uses her mobile phone in front of sale signs in the window of a clothes store at a shopping mall in central Sydney June 6, 2013. Reuters/Daniel Munoz/File Photo

A new partnership between eBay Australia and Google is set to make shopping this Christmas easier. The tech companies have teamed up to make products more accessible.

Starting Wednesday, Australian shoppers can ask Google's voice assistant for help search and locate gifts. Consumers just need to say “Ask eBay” or “Talk to eBay.”

This new technology is designed for a more personalised shopping experience, according to eBay Australia and New Zealand managing director Tim MacKinnon. He said that working with Google is the next innovative step for eBay, adding that partnerships have always been a huge part of the business.

The team-up between eBay Australia and Google utilises eBay's multi-surface switching technology that allows consumers to have a voice conversation with Google Assistant on their Google Home device. Shoppers can then switch to their smartphone to buy products from eBay.

"We are the only marketplace in Australia that has this multi-surface switching capability, supported by the years of structured data we have accumulated around the Australian shopping experience," Financial Review quotes MacKinnon as saying. The news comes as Australians are getting themselves ready for Amazon’s full launch in Down Under.

Recent Nielsen data shows that the US-based marketplace is now the second most popular mass merchandise retailers for Aussie consumers. Woolworths is still number one.

On Thursday, Amazon completed a soft launch here, but the majority of shoppers are still waiting to access the marketplace. At present, eBay has about 60 million listings that can now be sorted through voice technologies on Google Home devices and compatible smartphones. An example is the new Google Pixel 2.

Based on estimates by IBISWorld, Australians would spend an average of $75.20 online shopping this Christmas. That figure is a 17.3 percent jump on the 2016 sales figures.

Spending in department stores is expected to dip 2.8 percent to $116.90 per capita. This is mainly due to competition from online retailers as well as heavy discounting.

Last month, Amazon's US site attracted a unique audience of 4.6 million Australian shoppers. This is comparable to Woolworths' unique audience of 6.7 million.

Coles has 3.7 million, Kmart 3.3 has million and Kogan.com with 2.8 million. "With the increased behaviour of purchasing goods online and in the lead up to Christmas we expect Amazon to have a significant impact on the Australian retail sector," Megan Treston, executive director, retailer services at Nielsen, said.

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