Yesterday, Google announced an exciting update to the way that users can browse items while shopping online. Likely to be rolled out within the week, this update could change the manner in which e-commerce sites and e-tailers approach search marketing in a big way. Designed to make it easier to browse a range of items from different departments and in different colours, styles, and sizes, this update could gift online retailers with better search engine real estate and visibility.
Everyone knows that the problem with online shopping is that it can be difficult to get a broad view of what’s available. This update, which we reported on yesterday as it was announced, aims to help users better compare prices and variations on similar products from various online retailers, all in one place.
Google has indexed and organised products from over a million online shops in order to better serve searchers a comprehensive range of suitable results. This update will allow users to search for more general terms like ‘running shoes’ or ‘denim jacket’ and immediately receive a wide range of applicable results. Search users will also be able to filter results by size, style and retailer, while being able to see a gallery of images for the products available.
This significant update could profoundly affect the way that online retailers approach their search marketing and online presence. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at who’s reporting on the update and what the initial reaction has been across the industry.
Google can point you toward the popular clothes in many stores
One of the most impressive things about the new update might just be that it is entirely free to use, and Engadget makes exactly that point. As long as you’re willing to trust a search engine algorithm to decide what you’re going to find stylish, of course.
More searches and more products will serve users up with a better choice and more accuracy when shopping online.
Google’s new feature makes it easier to shop from search results
Part of the problem with online shopping right now is that web searches only serve you up with a list of links to blindly choose from. TechCrunch makes the excellent point that having a visual guide in the form of a gallery of images with which to compare departments and styles will help users to narrow down their own search needs.
You’ll also be able to quickly and effectively compare prices and customer reviews, making it much easier to compare different retailers for the best deals.
Google Introduces a New Shopping Section in Search Results
Despite all the new features, you’ll still have to actually visit the merchant’s website in order to make a purchase, meaning that organic traffic values won’t suffer from the new shopping section. Matt Southern over at Search Engine Journal takes a look at how this might affect search marketing. He highlights the fact that for online retailers to have products surfaced in this new section, they are encouraged to set up product feeds in the Google Merchant Center and apply the appropriate structured data markup for their product pages.
The Search Engine Journal makes the point that, according to Google, this new feature will drive more organic traffic to e-commerce websites if anything. However, given that the feature allows users to do a great deal of browsing without leaving Google, it remains to be seen whether this will be the case.
Google users can shop while they mobile search
It might be significant that at the moment, the new Google shopping feature has only been announced for mobile. While this will likely change over time, Chain Store Age takes a look at how Google might be encouraging users to search while on the move. Speed and mobility could change the way that people search for clothes online.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there: you see someone wearing something cool while out and about, or you get a glimpse of a nice jacket on the TV and you think maybe you’d look good in something similar. With the new feature, you’ll be able to immediately pick up your phone and search for similar products, with a gallery of images and price comparisons to assist you in identifying the best match for what you’re looking for.
Google Begins Rolling Out New Clothing Shopping Feature on Search
The new feature first serves search users with a gallery of images. Which, as Adweek points out, is usually the first step in shopping for clothes anyway. Then, when you’ve seen the kind of ‘denim jacket’ or ‘gym shorts’ that you like the look of, a simple tap takes you on to more information.
Tapping on a product’s image takes you to more information about pricing and reviews, allowing you to compare the exact same product across a range of different retailers. This could change the way that retailers compete for attention search engine real estate.
Google brings clothes shopping directly to search results, making it even easier to spend too much
Having this new feature could change the way that smaller retailers compete against bigger retailers. After all, the feature is free to opt-in and allows users to instantly compare prices and reviews for exactly the same product across retailers.
How Google chooses to support retailers in advertising via the new feature will be crucial, as the Android Police points out. However, Google has already released support documentation on best practices and how to best have your products displayed and categorised correctly and effectively.
Get In Touch
Interested in keeping up to date with all of Google’s updates on their shopping feature and more? Or perhaps you’d like to find out how to make the most of your search marketing as an e-commerce site. Well, you’ve come to the perfect place. Just get in touch with the team here at Embryo to find out how we can help you stay on the cutting edge of all things digital.