Google Rolls Out Retail Search for eCommerce

John Suder
Apr 11, 2022

Google released a new feature for online shoppers with their Google Assistant

  • The Google Assistant is a free app that you can use with your smartphone and Google Home devices.
  • The Assistant can be used to help you find products that you want, as well as to help you manage other day-to-day tasks, such as reminders and alarms.

Assistant can now search for products from their mobile devices

It’s a constant challenge to find the best ways to help customers find your products — whether that’s through Search, Shopping, YouTube, or other Google services. So when you look at how people shop and what they want from their shopping experience, you’ll see that searching for products is changing. People search with photos and videos in mind, asking questions like “What can I buy that looks like this?” or “Where can I get a dress similar to this one?”

Let's say you need to buy a new pair of sneakers, but you don't have time to search for them. You can ask Google to find the product for you. The first thing you have to do is ensure that the microphone icon is visible in your Google Assistant app. Once it's there, just tell Google what product you're looking for: "Hey Google, search for Nike Air Force 1." Next, tap on the image that looks like the one you want and get more details about it by tapping again on the image. Finally, tap on the "Buy on Google" button and follow instructions as they appear in order to complete your purchase.

The Google app and Assistant will show product information from retailers, such as Whole Foods and Costco, and listings from various eCommerce sites

Google Assistant users can search for products on Google or, and the Assistant will provide product information about items, such as price, size, color, and more. Users can then ask Assistant to purchase these items from the retailer of their choosing. If you don’t have a specific store in mind, Google Assistant will show you a list of participating retailers when you search for an item.

The company says that it worked with several other retailers to bring this feature to life, including Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST), Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD), Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT), and Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ: ULTA).

This is another step in how consumers shop online

A year or two ago, a product search would have brought up results from E-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay. You are increasingly likely to see product listings from retailers and merchants not present previously on the search engine results page (SERP). Google's introduction of retail search for eCommerce sites has changed how we make purchasing decisions. This means that consumers can compare prices across multiple websites, but marketers need to be more aware of how they present their products to gain better visibility against competitors.

This change could indicate that Amazon's monopoly on eCommerce searches is starting to fade (although it would still take a lot for them not to be number one). The importance of having good product listings will continue growing in future months as more people use search engines when making purchases online instead of going directly through retailer websites the first time around. We're already seeing platforms like Pinterest and Instagram starting to offer curated shopping experiences based on what users have liked or repinned before; Google's latest move gives retailers access to much richer data sets than ever before about consumer behavior both on their sites (through Google Analytics) then again via what happens when shoppers leave after clicking through from one retailer site/app into another (via Retail Search Ads).

There's an ongoing trend of moving away from traditional online shopping stores

The rise of apps like Pinterest allows you to search for a product and then find where you can buy it. This is something that Amazon has always been good at, but other retailers have struggled with. Google is trying to level the playing field by making it easier for users to make these specific product searches on any site they choose.

Instead, people search for specific products based on what's available on multiple retailer sites

We’re all familiar with how people search for online content. You usually start with a query such as “best skis for beginners,” and the results are a combination of paid listings and organic results from eCommerce sites, review sites, brand sites, etc.

But another interesting trend is emerging: instead of searching for articles about specific products, people turn to search engines to find particular products based on what’s available on multiple retailer websites.

This means they find the best product, at the lowest price, without visiting many different sites and spending lots of time comparing prices and details.

So instead of just searching for the product you want, Google will help by pulling together all relevant information.

Searching for products is changing, and having a great product listing is more important than ever before.

According to a 2021 survey conducted by The Harris Poll and Google Cloud, some 94% of U.S. consumers have abandoned a shopping session because they received irrelevant search results — a phenomenon known as “search abandonment.” The survey estimates that retailers miss out on $300 billion each year due to search abandonment in the U.S. alone.

The goal is to make it easy for you to reach consumers with engaging product content on the Google surfaces where they search for what to buy.

To do so:

  • Focus on creating a great product listing
  • List your products on Google Shopping
  • List your products across major retailers, including Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Walmart, and Newegg.

With more and more people using their mobile devices to search for products, it makes sense for Google to introduce a retail search specifically for eCommerce sites. If you’re not currently taking advantage of this new feature, now is the time to start. 

If you’re an eCommerce site owner, make sure you start preparing your website for Retail Search. This will likely become a more and more popular way to shop, so it’s essential to get ahead of the curve. It will be interesting to see how eCommerce companies adapt and change their search engine optimization (SEO) strategies with this new development.

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

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