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Google Shopping Debuts Personalized Style Recommendations 

Google shopping tool

Google has begun rolling out a feature that gives shoppers more personalized results.

As the search giant announced in a Wednesday (March 27) blog entry, the service will launch first in the U.S. for shoppers using mobile browsers and the Google app.

When those users search for certain clothing, shoes or accessories — the examples Google gives are “straw tote bags” and “men’s polo shirts” — they’ll find a section labeled “style recommendations.”

“There, you can rate options with a thumbs up or thumbs down, or a simple swipe right or left, and instantly see personalized results,” Google wrote.

“If you haven’t quite found what you want (or you just want to keep going), we’ll give you the option to rate more items and instantly see another set of results. We’ll remember your preferences for next time, too.”

That means the next time the user searches “men’s polo shirts,” they’ll get personalized style recommendations based on their past likes and interactions.

The new offering joins Google Shopping releases such as the company’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered image generation and virtual try-on tools.

PYMNTS explored the concept of data-backed personalization in the retail world earlier this week in an interview with Jennifer Slegers, director of customer relationship management (CRM) at workwear brand Carhartt.

“That’s what consumers are expecting right now. They expect that you know something about them, but you don’t want to know too much. You want it to be seamless,” Slegers said. “We have a variety of SKUs at Carhartt. So it’s really important to use that data to know what people might be looking for.”

Meanwhile, recent research by PYMNTS Intelligence shows that personalized offers from merchants can have a significant impact on how consumers shop, although failing to fully grasp a customer’s needs can lead to offers that fall flat.

That study, “Personalized Offers Are Powerful — But Too Often Off-Base,” found that nearly 83% of consumers said they were interested in customized discounts and promotion offers, but fewer than half said the offers they receive are relevant to their needs.

This suggests a major missed opportunity for merchants, with 44% of consumers saying truly relevant offers are likely to inspire them to switch merchants.

“The takeaway? If merchants want to turn casual patrons into loyal customers, it’s not enough to send them generic coupons and discounts,” PYMNTS wrote earlier this month. “Instead, business owners should carefully craft data-driven deals that reflect an accurate understanding of a customer’s specific needs.”