Google Rolls Out ‘Product Discovery Solutions For Retail’ Suite

Google Cloud

Google Cloud is rolling out Product Discovery Solutions for Retail, a new suite of services that will use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to help eCommerce firms deliver personalized consumer experiences during a shopping journey’s initial phase.

“As the shift to online continues, smarter and more personalized shopping experiences will be even more critical for retailers to rise above their competition,” Carrie Tharp, Google Cloud’s vice president of retail and consumer, said in announcing the new product. “Retailers are in dire need of agile operating models powered by cloud infrastructure and technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to meet today’s industry demands. We’re proud to partner with retailers around the world, and bring forward our Product Discovery offerings to help them succeed.”

Google said in a statement that it is releasing the new suite of products at a time when the global retail industry “has grappled with the shift to online shopping for a decade [and] is now facing one of its most unpredictable periods to date as businesses adapt to COVID-19. As more shopping accelerates online, retailers are facing pressure to prioritize eCommerce improvements that enhance the entire consumer shopping journey while also driving bottom-line sales for their businesses.”

The company said it created Product Discovery Solutions for Retail by working “in collaboration with some of the world’s leading retailers and leveraging Google’s semantic understanding of online search and user intent.”

The new suite of products includes three elements:

Recommendations AI 

Google’s new Recommendations AI engine enables retailers to deliver highly personalized product recommendations at scale across all channels.

The company said the product “is able to piece together the history of a customer’s shopping journey and serve them with customized product recommendations.”

The search giant said Recommendations AI uses Google Cloud’s latest machine-learning architectures so retailers “can dynamically adapt to real-time user behavior and changes, accounting for variables like assortment and pricing to ensure an unfractured shopping experience.”

Google said that in testing, the system helped Sephora see a 50 percent higher click-through rate on its product pages, as well as about a 2 percent increased conversion rate on the retailer’s home page.

Vision API Product Search

This tool helps retailers adapt to how consumers “are finding product inspiration and discovery, whether that happens from retailer-specific websites or on any social media platforms,” Google said.

The company said Vision API Product Search allows shoppers to search for products using an image, receiving a ranked list of “visually and semantically similar” items.

Google said Vision Product Search uses ML-powered object recognition and lookup to provide real-time results of similar or complementary items from a retailer’s product catalog.

The company said that during the development phase, the tool helped an unidentified “leading retailer” improve customer interactions “by empowering more natural product discovery.”

Google Cloud Search for Retail

Google said this solution uses the search engine giant’s “deep understanding of user intent and context to provide retailers with high-quality product search functionality that can be embedded into their websites and mobile applications.”

“Retailers benefit from Google’s advanced search capabilities to provide intuitive search functionalities that are configurable to meet the specific needs of each retail organization,” the company said. “With Google Cloud Search for Retail, retailers can ensure their shoppers find exactly what they’re looking for at every step of their shopping journeys.”

Google said Macy’s is already using the system to “deliver new, innovative experiences” to its customers.

Companies can test Vision API Product Search via a private preview, while the Recommendations AI and Vision API Product Search are already available for widespread use.