In a bid to outpace e-commerce giants like Amazon.com, Google has unveiled its foray into generative AI technology for the world of online shopping. The Alphabet-owned company recently announced a range of features designed to assist users in understanding how apparel will fit their unique body size, while also introducing advanced capabilities for product search using search and image-recognition technology. Furthermore, Google showcased the application of generative AI in travel research and mapping, enabling the generation of text, images, and even videos from simple prompts.
Maria Renz, Google’s Vice President of Commerce, expressed the company’s ambition to establish Google as the ultimate destination for consumers to shop and for merchants to connect with their target audience. Renz emphasized Google’s commitment to an open ecosystem and a thriving web, highlighting the integration of generative AI technology as a means to further enhance the shopping experience across various merchants.
Despite Google’s dominance as the leading search engine, a survey conducted by research firm CivicScience revealed that 46 percent of US shoppers still initiated their product searches and research on Amazon. The study also highlighted TikTok’s growing influence, with 18 percent of Generation Z online shoppers turning to the platform first. Acknowledging this trend, Google aims to capture younger audiences with its AI-powered shopping exploration features.
One notable feature introduced by Google is the virtual “try-on” experience, launched in partnership with retailers such as Anthropologie and Everlane. This feature enables users to visualize how clothes fit across a diverse range of body types, from XXS to 4XL sizes. Google captured images of models from various backgrounds to create lifelike depictions of apparel, accounting for fabric stretch and wrinkles that occur when worn. The initial rollout will focus on women’s tops, with plans to expand to men’s clothing in the future.
Additionally, Google plans to leverage user feedback and insights to enhance its “search generative experience.” Initially available through the experimental Search Labs product, this service utilizes AI to generate comprehensive search results by pulling in information from various sources. With the incorporation of user reviews, Google aims to provide a well-rounded and user-centric search experience.
Google’s expansion into generative AI technology demonstrates its commitment to revolutionizing the shopping experience and positioning itself as a hub for both consumers and merchants. By leveraging AI to provide personalized product insights and facilitating seamless exploration, Google aims to surpass its competitors in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape.