Google’s third annual “Search On” event on Wednesday (September 28) revealed that the search engine giant views improvements in search as the big road from engagement to commerce, based on what one Google exec called “frankly unprecedented.” “Referred to as advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
A slew of new shopping features that talk about visual enhancements while pursuing a “More than a search engine” strategy that emerged during the pandemic offer a good glimpse into Google’s ambitions to lead online through new features and functionality -Play trade.
The first of nine new shopping features Google unveiled at Search On and in a blog post by Lilian Rincon, Senior Director of Product, Shopping, is the ability to search by saying “shop” followed by the item, for that a user is looking for.
Search results now return a visual feed of products, research tools, and localized inventory, and it also extends shopping searches beyond apparel to categories like electronics and beauty. “Shop the Look” shows outfit options that match the items being searched – Google used bomber jackets, for example – along with purchase options in the feed, and the company is also rolling out the image-based “Multisearch” feature globally.
Other new features include a “Trends” discoverability option that shows items that are popular in Google searches, “Shop in 3D” and a 360-degree 3D display automation tool. Google found that “people interact almost 50% more with 3D images than with static ones”.
Related: Google is rolling out tweaks to make YouTube and search more shoppable
This feature goes well with the Discover offer in the Google app, which suggests items that are similar to other items that the user has recently searched, viewed, or purchased.
Additionally, the Buying Guide feature aims to educate buyers about more complex and often more expensive purchases, while Page Insights provides ratings, reviews, and product updates. Additional product “filters” have also been added, showing options within searched items.
Google is also adding deeper personalization using AI, which remembers a shopper’s preferences and makes recommendations based on previous searches and purchases. Personalization can be turned off if users are unhappy with it.
Also new are “Discussions and Forums” with user-generated content designed to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions, and a new translation feature that allows users to read news from any source in any language.
eat and have fun
Moving on to food, Google said, “Research shows that 40% of people already have a dish in mind when they search for food,” adding, “In the coming months, you’ll be able to search for any dish.” and to see the local places offer it.” Again, multisearch plays a role.
See also: Alphabet’s Pichai says AI is powering a new wave of growth for Google search
It’s even breaking into Yelp territory with a feature that analyzes restaurant reviews and pictures. Along those same lines, Google is also “expanding our coverage of digital menus, making them more visually rich and reliable. We combine menu information provided by people and vendors and found on restaurant websites that use open standards for data sharing.”
Search On also announced visual and recommendation improvements for Google Maps.
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