Google Shopping gets an upgrade
A redesigned Google Shopping platform went live in the U.S. last week with upgrades to some existing features as well as the introduction of new ones, such as price tracking and style inspiration.
The experience first debuted in France earlier this year.
Among the features:
- Personalization: The updated homepage is personalized so individuals see relevant product suggestions based on their shopping and browsing histories, as well as sections that help them reorder common items.
- Style inspiration: Google Lens already enables consumers to find similar item suggestions for apparel and home décor. With a new feature, “style ideas,” users take a screenshot and use Lens in Google Photos to see how other people have styled similar looks. The tool works similarly to Pinterest’s “Shop the Look” Pins.
- Price tracking: Consumers can “price track” certain items and receive a notification to their phone when prices drops. Notifications through email will soon be added.
- Localization: Items can be filtered to nearby stores should the consumer want to see and touch an item or pick up the product immediately. The feature can also display in-stock information at local stores. (Google Express, Google’s local delivery service, was absorbed into Google Shopping earlier this year.)
- Buy directly on Google with guarantee: Through Google Shopping Actions, a cost-per-action program for retailers, shoppers can buy certain items directly on Google using payment information stored in their Google accounts. Google’s customer service team can handle returns and refunds on such purposes and the service offers a “guarantee” to provide confidence to shop unfamiliar stores. A shopping cart icon on product images indicates the item can be bought directly on Google.
- Carbon offsets: Carbon emissions from delivery will be offset for any item bought on Google.
Numerous studies have found that Amazon.com has surpassed Google in recent years as the go-to platform for product search, although research from Episerver earlier this year found more consumers heading to Google over Amazon for inspiration. More premium fashion brands are available on Google than Amazon. A more dynamic shopping experience may also help Google better compete against Amazon for advertising dollars.
- Find the best prices and places to buy with Google Shopping – Google
- Get outfit inspiration with style ideas in Google Lens – Google
- Google’s new take on Shopping goes live in U.S. – Search Engine Land
- Redesigned Google Shopping goes live, with price tracking, Google Lens for outfits and more – TechCrunch
- Will Google’s new shopping platform steal product searches away from Amazon? – RetailWire
- More Product Searches Start on Amazon – eMarketer
- Who is winning the shopping search race — Amazon or Google? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Which of the features on the upgraded Google Shopping platform do you think will be most appealing to consumers? What about for retailers? Where do you see Google having an advantage over Amazon in the shopping journey?