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E-COMMERCE

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.

E-Commerce

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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