The name of the game when it comes to online shopping in the past couple of years has been “customization”. Every user online has a unique view of a product or service, that aims to create a smoother and more efficient customer journey. Due to this, online eCommerce platforms started differentiating their approach on the whole online buying experience concept.
Because, after all, shopping is not about filling a need. It is about the experience of buying: exploring your options, discovering new styles and trends, and researching to make sure you’re getting the right product at the right price.
Google aims at revolutionizing the world of eCommerce with its latest addition to its AI model Shopping Graph. Google’s e-commerce changes greatly affect companies that want to improve the customer discovery of their brands.
Nine brand-new shopping tools were added on the 28th of September 2022. The new tools will make it easier for new and emerging brands to be suggested alongside bigger companies. The goal of the shopping tools is to hopefully attract brands and marketers away from platforms like Amazon.
This update is in part a subtle response to Amazon’s dominance over the eCommerce global market. Amazon has been steadily digging into Google’s core search advertising business over the years and is projected that by 2023, 14.6% of the U.S. digital ad revenue market share will be captured by Amazon. In order to be more competitive, Google heavily invested in its Shopping services. Part of this strategy is also making listings free for merchants and then integrating those free listings into Google Search results. Shopping Graph, Google’s marketplace, increased its product listing to 35 billion products, a growth of more than 30% over the last year alone.
Let’s go through these additions and understand their use and purpose:
More visual ways to shop
Search with the word “shop”:
With the latest update to Google’s Shopping Graph, the company is introducing a new way to unlock the shopping experience. At the moment the feature is only available in North America, nevertheless now when users search “shop” followed by any item they want, they will have access to a visual feed of products, research tools, and nearby inventory related to that product. They are also expanding the shoppable search experience beyond apparel to all categories, more regions, and on different devices, as for now, the feature is only available on mobile.
Shop the look:
Google’s new feature Shop the Look lets users assemble their desired outfit by featuring related items to selected shopping images. The tool will show users images of complementary items inside Google’s catalogue, plus options for where to buy them all within Google Search.
Trend Watchlist feature:
Trending products is a new feature in Search that shows you products that are popular right now within a category helping to discover the latest models, styles and brands. This feature is momentarily under beta testing but will be available in full effect by the end of the fall season of 2022.
Shop in 3D:
3D images get almost 50% more engagement than regular static pics. Previously this year, Google brought 3D visuals of home goods to Search. Google aims at bringing users 3D visuals of shoes soon, starting with sneakers, of course, through Google shopping images.
Although this feature is a huge step forward in simplifying the shopping experience for users, it could be a pain point for merchants who do not have access to 3D technologies. To prevent the potential issue, and make this process more efficient and cost-effective, Google announced a new way to build 3D visuals. Thanks to advancements in machine learning, creating 3D images can now be automated. Merchants can use Google’s built-in software to create 360-degree pictures of sneakers using just a handful of still photos.
A better customer experience
Help with complex purchases:
Sometimes it can be overwhelming to make certain purchases, the buying process goes through a lot of hoops and loops, users consider lots of factors, read tons of articles and open countless tabs on their browsers. These trickier decisions are now a bit simpler with a new buying guide. The guide features helpful insights about a category from a wide range of trusted sources, which can be found all in one place. Google hopes that with these sources, users can make quicker and more educated decisions with confidence to prevent post-purchase dissonance.
Diving into the shoppers’ behavior:
Page insights will give users even more reasons to shop with confidence. The new feature in the Google Shopping Graph brings together helpful context about a webpage, product, or page that a user is searching for. The feature will show pros and cons and star ratings, all in one view. In addition, users can now find the best deals by looking at price drop updates.
A more personalized shopping experience
Users’ shopping habits will be translated into more personalized shopping results. The feature also adds the option to tell personal preferences to Google directly, plus controls to easily turn off personalized results. After the first search, the app will save the category of the searched item and on future searches, the displayed results will be directly linked to the preferences set in the first one.
Whole-page shopping filters on Search are now dynamic and adapt based on real-time Search trends. Depending on the fashion trends of a certain type of period, the search results will change. The filter will be dependent on a multitude of factors but the most relevant ones will be the times the keyword has been searched, the click-through rate, and the geographical location.
Inspiration beyond the Search box:
Shoppers can now use Discover in the Google app to browse through suggested styles based on their previous searches as well as what others have searched for too. This feature integrates Google Lens, Google’s feature that lets users have a snapshot of other search results directly in the current tab.
In conclusion, Google believes these changes will help to make shopping on its platform easier and, in some cases, more fun for consumers. However, it can be argued that the true reason behind this implementation of new features is aimed at finding a way to keep users from diverting their searches to other sites, like Amazon. Another challenge is surging for Google’s marketplace as the rise of Social Commerce is shaking up the eCommerce industry. With the rise of this trend, social platforms have been expanding their shopping functionalities. Instagram in July released a pay-in-chat tool for small businesses, and that same month Pinterest released new in-app commerce features.
How can Storm5 help
Understanding the ins- and outs- of Google and its extensions are crucial in the RetailTech landscape, even more, important in the eCommerce industry. Building an internal, trustworthy, and efficient marketing team can be the move that will make a business successful. With the holiday season approaching, having a strong and clear strategy should be every eCommerce’s platform first priority!
It all starts with a great personality that can guide your marketing team, with that Storm5 should be your go-to destination. We are a global talent marketplace that specialized in eCommerce Recruitment. We connect senior-level talent with the best companies in the RetailTech industry.