Google has reportedly included a new shopping feature in its image search that shows users looking at clothing what items go with it.
According to a report in Recode, the new search feature is called “style ideas” and will be available via mobile search. For instance, if someone is searching for a pocketbook, other products that go well with the pocketbook will show up. The feature is reportedly aimed at getting people to think of Google as a place to shop, not only to look at images. It’s also aimed at stealing market share from the likes of Amazon and eBay. The report noted that Google is behind Amazon in product search, and its position is getting worse.
Redcode pointed to a recent survey by eCommerce startup BloomReach that found 55 percent of online shoppers in the U.S. started searching on Amazon last year. That’s up from 44 percent in the year earlier period. The percentage of shoppers who started their product searches on Google declined to 28 percent from 34 percent, noted the report. Google could also be taking on Pinterest, which has a Chrome extension tool that is similar to Google’s “style ideas.”
Google is apparently putting a lot of attention on search, with Fortune reporting last month that online retailers that apply Google’s search technology to their own sites using the Google Site Search product will now have to update their site search or upgrade to a version that included ads. This spring, Google is officially cutting its Google Site Search (GSS) product, which it disclosed to customers and partners via email last week. According to Fortune, existing customers are able to continue using the GSS product through the end of their current license, but the tech giant will stop renewals and selling new licenses as of April 1. The customer’s account will then automatically convert to the company’s Custom Search Engine (CSE) product. CSE offers a free, ad-supported version of Google’s search technology. A Google spokesman noted via email that CSE provides similar features and functions to GSS.