Merchants have seen a lot of browsing by John Smith, who picks up items ranging from a replacement turn-signal lever from an auto-supply site and towel rack and mailbox from a home goods site. John then leaves without buying and ‘it's started getting out of hand’. It turns out John Smith is a Google Bot.
“We use automated systems to ensure consumers are getting accurate pricing information from our merchants,” a company spokesman said. “This sometimes leads to merchants seeing abandoned carts as a result of our system testing whether the price displayed matches the price at checkout.” A Google spokesman said the company is looking to clarify how the automated systems will work with merchant websites in the future to avoid confusion. The company also said it would work with merchants to address other issues tied to its shopping programs.