Google debuts 3D sneaker tool, new shopping features


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Dive Brief:

  • Expanding its reach into e-commerce, Google announced the launch of new shopping features at its Search On 2022 event Wednesday, including a Shop in 3D tool that will be available soon for select sneakers. The technology company will assist businesses in the upcoming months by creating 3D models of their sneakers for free by using a group of still images.
  • Additionally, the company is releasing a “shop the look” tool that provides a set of suggested products to complement the apparel item a user is shopping for. Google has also expanded its personalization functionality, allowing shoppers to input their preferred brands to see more of them in future searches, suggesting Discover styles based on previous searches in its Discover function and launching dynamic search page filters based on trends, according to a blog post by Google’s Senior Director of Product and Shopping Lilian Rincon.
  • Google also announced a buying guide feature — currently only available for specific category topics — meant to help customers with harder purchasing decisions by aggregating research from a variety of sources.

Dive Insight:

While Google may not be a retailer itself, it’s changing the way shoppers can learn about and interact with brands on its platform.

“We’re not a retailer, nor are we a marketplace,” Rincon told Retail Dive. “Instead, we enable an open and free commerce ecosystem. So it’s our mission really to connect shoppers and merchants regardless of where the final transaction occurs.”

Behind Google’s understanding of retail is its Shopping Graph, an AI-enhanced model that understands over 35 billion product listings. This is up from 24 billion product listings last year, which Rincon says is an achievement that’s helped create the latest features.

“The opportunity to improve the shopping experience we think is huge,” Rincon said. “And we’re building the tools to make those shopping moments more natural, intuitive and fun.”

Other features announced Wednesday by Rincon at Search On include a new way to access available products. By searching the word “shop” on its search engine followed by the name of an item, users in the US will now be shown a visual feed of products and resources related to the product.

Similarly to Google, other tech 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 commerce features a few weeks after tapping Google’s former head of commerce as its new CEO.

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