Google’s third annual “Search On” event on Wednesday (September 28) showed that the search engine giant sees search improvements as the big unlock in commerce engagement, based on what a Google executive described as “frankly unprecedented” advances in artificial intelligence ( AI) and machine learning.
Speaking of visual improvements as it pursues a “more than a search engine” strategy that took off during the pandemic, a slew of new shopping features offer a good glimpse of Google’s ambitions to be a e-commerce engine with new features and functions.
The first of nine new Google shopping features unveiled during Search On and in a blog post by Lilian Rincon, Senior Product Manager, Procurement, is the ability to search by saying “shop”, followed by the item you’re looking for by the user.
Search results now return a visual feed of products, search tools, and localized inventory, and they also expand the buyable search beyond apparel to categories like electronics and beauty. “Shop the look” offers outfit options that go with the items searched – Google used bomber jackets as an example – as well as in-feed shopping options, and the company also takes the “Multisearch” feature based on the look. picture on a global scale.
Other new features include a “Trending” discovery option showing popular items in Google searches, as well as “Shop in 3D” and an automation tool for 360-degree 3D viewing. Google noted that “people interact with 3D images nearly 50% more than with static images.”
Related: Google rolls out tweaks to make YouTube and search more buyable
This feature pairs well with the Google app’s “Discover” offering, which suggests items in the vein of other items the user has recently searched for, viewed, or purchased.
Additionally, the “Buying Guide” feature is meant to educate shoppers on more complex and often more expensive purchases, while “Page Insights” offers product ratings, reviews, and updates. It also added more product “filters” that show options in searched items.
Google is also adding deeper personalization using AI, which remembers a shopper’s preferences and makes recommendations based on past searches and purchases. Personalization can be disabled if users are not comfortable with it.
“Discussions and Forums” is also new with user-generated content, aimed at helping consumers make informed purchasing decisions, and a new translation feature that allows users to read news from any source in any language.
Finding Food and Pleasure
Moving on to food, Google said “research shows that 40% of people already have a dish in mind when they search for food”, adding that “in the coming months you will be able to search for any dish and see local places that offer it.” Multiple search factors here too.
See also: Alphabet’s Pichai says AI will fuel a new wave of growth for Google Search
It even moves into Yelp territory with a feature that analyzes restaurant reviews and images. In this sense, Google “is also expanding our coverage of digital menus and making them visually richer and more reliable. We combine menu information provided by individuals and merchants and found on restaurant websites that use open standards for data sharing. »
Visual and recommendation improvements for Google Maps were also announced during Search On.
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