Google unveils new Retail Search tool to help frustrated shoppers

By our News Team | 2022

Tech giant aims to cut down on online shopping sessions that are abandoned because consumers can’t find the product they’re looking for.

How many times has a shopper searched for a product on a store’s website only to get results that aren’t relevant – or worse, provided no search results at all? While most e-commerce sites have search capabilities, few accomplish their ultimate goal: making it easy for customers to discover the products they want. 

Some 94% of US consumers abandoned a shopping session because they received irrelevant search results, according to a 2021 survey conducted by The Harris Poll and Google Cloud. 

It’s a phenomenon known as ‘search abandonment’. Indeed, poor product discovery experiences can stop a purchase in its tracks and leave shoppers frustrated. Retailers miss out on approximately US$300-billion each year due to search abandonment in the United States alone.


Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

But Google says it has the answer to all these woes. It’s called Retail Search and is now generally available so that “retailers worldwide can supercharge their websites and mobile apps with Google-quality search”, the company says in a breathless blog post.

Technology that understands user intent

The post – written by Srikanth Belwadi, Group Product Manager for Google Cloud – says Retail Search is “built on Google’s technologies that understand user intent and context”, adding that “the solution helps businesses improve the search and overall shopping experience across all of their digital touchpoints”.

Belwadi claims that retailers which are early adopters of the technology have been using the solution to increase sales conversions, boost basket sizes and improve customer engagement.

“While we’ve come a long way … shoppers still struggle to find what they’re looking for. They often have to come up with a perfectly worded query that a retailer’s site search engine will understand, sometimes rephrasing several times before getting the results they want – if they find anything relevant at all,” Belwadi explains.

“Traditional search technologies don’t work in the modern age of online retail, where tens or even hundreds of thousands of items are available on a single e-commerce site.

“Now, through the power of Retail Search, when a shopper searches for a ‘long black dress with short sleeves and comfortable fit’ on an e-commerce site, they should immediately get results for precisely that – rather than refining their search multiple times, or worse, giving up their shopping journey.”

More information on Google’s new product is available here.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.