Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

Google’s failed online shopping service Google Express is closing in a few weeks, as its features will be merged into a revamped version of Google Shopping, Google says in an email sent to its customers this week. The company had already announced its plans to shutter the Google Express brand, as part of a wider redesign of how it approached online shopping. This included new advertising options for brands and online sellers, as well as a universal shopping cart across its platform of services, like Search, Shopping, Images, and even YouTube.

While Google is characterizing Google Express’s closure as an “integration,” it’s really more of a sunsetting of a failed product and brand.

Google Express was Google’s high-profile attempt to compete with Amazon for online shopping clicks and ad dollars buy creating a virtual mall on the web filled with top retailers’ products. Because Google is not a retailer itself, it did what it knows best — it organized information. At Google Express, you could find products from thousands of retailers — including big names like Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Best Buy, and others. And you could shop through a dedicated online storefront on the web, a Google Express mobile app, or even Google Assistant.

In the latter case, Google Express partnered with retailers like Walmart and Target for deep integrations for voice-enabled shopping. As direct competitors with Amazon, these retailers didn’t want to offer third-party skills for Echo users or others on Amazon’s Alexa platform. Google represented a safer third-party platform for their experiments with voice commands and personalized shopping.

But even several years after launch, Google Express had failed to offer any real threat to Amazon. Its retail partners, meanwhile, were building out their own fulfillment businesses for their customers’ online orders — like Walmart Grocery’s curbside pickup and delivery, for example, or Target’s Shipt, Drive Up, and Restock.

Not too much later, Target and Walmart were pulling out of Google Express.

Google has tried to downplay the news of Google Express’s demise by including it as just another part to the larger Google Shopping revamp. After all, it’s not a shutdown, the company implied. Its features were simply becoming a part of Google Shopping! Nothing to see here! Just a rebrand!

But clearly, Google Express had been unable to establish itself in consumers’ minds as its own dedicated shopping destination. If customers wanted an online mall, they already had one with either Amazon or Walmart and their vast third-party marketplaces where you could find just about anything you’d need. Nor had Google innovated (or acquired) across key areas like warehousing or logistics, while others like Amazon, Target and Walmart had been spending billions.

With Google Shopping, Google goes back to its search engine roots. It aims to simply capture consumers’ clicks, ad dollars and now conversions no matter where they are on Google’s sites — whether that’s shopping from Merch shelves under YouTube videos, browsing photos in a Pinterest-y manner on Google Images, or through more traditional Google searches for products where ads become shoppable, and shopping carts follow you around Google’s part of the web.

In an email to Google Express shoppers that was sent this week, Google says Google Express will be integrated with Shopping in a few weeks’ time.

The redesigned Google Shopping will then be available across the web and through apps for iOS and Android later this month. At that point, the Google Express apps will automatically update to become Google Shopping, if you already had them installed.

The full email about Google Express’ closure is below:

google express shutdown

 


TechCrunch

Facebook’s Oculus Quest standalone VR headset hasn’t been out long, but VP of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth says the company is already selling a substantial amount of content for the device.

At Vox Media’s Code conference, the exec detailed that in the first two weeks of sales there has been $ 5 million in content sales. We have not gotten any details on device sales, though Facebook has never shares sales data on their VR products.

The $ 399 headset does not require a PC or phone to operate and offers camera-based positional tracking like higher-end PC headsets have in the past. At launch the company’s store had just over 50 titles available to download, with a mixture of free titles and games costing as much as $ 30.

Companies in the VR space — even Facebook — have been reticent to discuss sales because there have been so few success stories. Facebook has gone all-in on the Quest’s launch, their marketing campaigns have been substantial so it makes sense that they’re willing to detail their successes here.


TechCrunch

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Since 2007, our epic Startup Battlefield pitch competition has launched 857 companies that have raised more than $ 8 billion in funding and generated 109 exits. If you make the cut, you’ll follow in the footsteps of some pretty legendary companies, including Vurb, Dropbox, Mint, Yammer and more.

It won’t cost you a thing to apply to or participate in Startup Battlefield. And that includes free pitch coaching from Battlefield-tested TechCrunch editors. But first things first. Those editors will vet every application looking for roughly 15-30 exceptional startups. That elite Battlefield cohort receives the VIP treatment at Disrupt, including exhibit space in Startup Alley for all three days.

The free coaching will come in handy once the Big Day arrives. You’ll walk confidently onto the Disrupt Main Stage in front of an audience of thousands to deliver your six-minute pitch to a panel of judges experienced in the ways of tech and investing. Then you’ll answer whatever questions they put to you.

Survive that and you’ll move to the second, final round — the same pitch delivered to a new set of experts. All the judges will confer and then declare one champion. Those founders receive $ 100,000 in equity-free cash, the Disrupt Cup and a bright media and investor spotlight.

We also live-stream the whole shebang to the world on TechCrunch.com, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Plus, it’s available later on-demand. Yes, Startup Battlefield is intense, stressful and challenging. It’s also a lot of fun, and the benefits and the exposure — for all competitors — are well worth the effort.

Don’t miss your chance to launch your startup to the world at Disrupt SF 2019 on October 2-4. Do you have what it takes to be the champ? You have less than two weeks to find out. Apply to compete in Startup Battlefield.

While you’re at it, why not apply for our TC Top Picks program? If you make the cut, you’ll receive a free Startup Alley Exhibitor Package and plenty of media and investor exposure.

Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at Disrupt SF 2019? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.


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