- Google is letting smartphone users see clothing and accessories from multiple online stores in a new section on mobile search, according to a blog post by Denise Ho, group product manager of Google Shopping. When a mobile user enters a search term like "running shoes," Google will identify products from internet retailers and bring them together with enhanced functionality.
- Shoppers can filter the search results by style, department and size, or see several images of a product. Search results point to online stores, letting shoppers visit those sites to order products. Shoppers also can read online reviews from other shoppers to make more informed purchase decisions.
- Google indexes and organizes product information from more than 1 million online stores worldwide for this section. The company said it won't charge retailers to be included. Google provided an online guide with more information about which products are eligible to appear in the section.
Google's new mobile shopping section for clothing gives retailers and fashion brands a way to connect with consumers who increasingly use their smartphones to look for products and buy them. For Google, it helps round out a commerce play that's become increasingly central to the search giant's strategy as it ramps up competition with Amazon.
The shopping features will likely help with product discovery by automating the rote task of trying to find specific clothing items by searching through multiple stores individually. Still, clothing retailers and brands will need to ensure that their websites are optimized for Google's search engine to boost the likelihood that shoppers will see their products in the section.
While Google isn't collecting commissions from stores whose products that appear in search results, the company doesn't want to see Amazon encroach further on product search. Some marketers are reportedly shifting as much as 50% to 60% of their search budgets from Google to Amazon, which has become the most popular starting point for product search, per researcher Jumpshot.
To cope with the growing threat from Amazon, Google in October also introduced a redesigned version of its e-commerce platform Google Shopping that introduced features like price-tracking. The latest updates come as Google works to diversify its revenue amid slowing growth in its search advertising business.