The report claims that Google is selling its new anti-Amazon tools on the basis that it is utterly dominant in the search world. Not to mention that, as voice becomes a more important component of people's lives, Google's reach here will help beat back Alexa. The project's genesis was reportedly down to the company noticing that people were image searching products, or asking where they could buy an item. And it wasn't small numbers of folks, either, but tens of million of people, a big enough market to make anyone excited.
Right now, many searches begin with Google, but likely end up in Amazon, elbowing out more traditional retailers in the brick-and-mortar world. The hope is that, by getting their results embedded into Google, the traditional retailers can steal back some of those customers it has been losing. Google Express, another shopping project, has already demonstrated the benefits, with retailers seeing basket sizes increasing by 30 percent. Given the growing argy-bargy between Amazon and Google, you can only expect this sort of sniping to get worse, rather than better.
Update 3/19/18 10:41AM ET: And it's official. Google made the announcement on its AdWords blog this morning, detailing an initiative called Shopping Actions. Through this feature, retailers can leverage a "universal cart" that allows customers to easily shop across mobile, desktop and voice-controlled devices. Basically, Google says this will make it much easier for you to shop by voice or with a phone/computer from a number of stores. The program can also remember your preferences and loyalty account status to provide recommendations in the future.