New Ai Powered Retail Search Service from Google
Deliver contextually relevant products from natural language searches

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Have you ever been frustrated by the search results on your favorite shopping app? Modern eCommerce sites can house 100s of thousands or even millions of products and finding what you need can be a nightmare. Luckily advances in artificial intelligence and a strong commitment by Google to the future of eCommerce, have lead to the release of Retail Search and other product discovery tools.

Now, through the power of Retail Search by Google, when a shopper searches for a “long black dress with short sleeves and comfortable fit” on an ecommerce site, they can immediately get results for precisely that—rather than refining their search multiple times, or worse, giving up their shopping journey.

Retail Search improves the shopping experience and makes it easier for customers to locate relevant items by bringing up products that are contextually relevant.

The new fully managed service from Google, is easily customizable, enabling organizations to craft shopper-focused search experiences without huge developer overhead. The Ai powered site search solution builds upon decades of Google’s experience and innovation in search indexing, retrieval, and ranking.

Retailers can make product discovery easier for shoppers, while optimizing for their business goals with advanced capabilities, including:

  • Advanced query understanding that produces better results from even the broadest queries, including non-product searches. 
  • Semantic search to effectively match product attributes with website content for fast, relevant product discovery. 
  • Optimized results that leverage user interaction and ranking models to meet specific business goals.
  • State-of-the-art security and privacy practices that ensure retailer data is isolated with strong access controls and is only used to deliver relevant search results on their own properties.

eCommerce apps can now shape product discovery into a shopping experience that is timely, relevant, and personalized—all powered reliably by Google Cloud.  With Retail Search, retailers can easily implement Google-quality search that is customizable and built upon Google’s understanding of user intent and context.

Powered by Google Ai, businesses can take advantage of Google's expertise in AI that enables advanced query understanding and produces better search results and recommendations from even the broadest queries. In addition, you can effectively match product attributes with website content for fast, relevant product discovery with semantic search.

With a fully managed service there is no need to preprocess data, train or hypertune machine learning models, load balance or manually provision your infrastructure to handle unpredictable traffic spikes. Google handles it all for you automatically. Which helps you get setup in a matter of weeks not months.

Integrate data, manage models and  monitor performance, all from an intuitive graphical user interface. You can connect data in Google Merchant Center and Tag Manager to train and deploy Google Retail Solutions quickly.

Several leading retailers around the world, including Lowe's, have been able to quickly create better online shopping experiences for their customers and capture more digital and omnichannel growth using Google Cloud’s product discovery solutions according to Google's Blog.

Implementation of Google Retail Search

When you use Recommendations AI or Retail Search, you use the Retail API to ingest user event and catalog data and to serve predictions or search results on your site.

The Retail API uses the same data for both Recommendations AI and Retail Search, so if you use both, you don't need to ingest the same data twice.

If you are using Google Tag Manager or Google Merchant Center, you can implement the Retail API with Google tools otherwise you will need to send events and product data through the API. I am currently working on a client implementation using the Google tools and it is highly preferably over the manual integration!

Pricing of Retail Search

Per google pricing as of April 7:

The only Retail Search operations that incur charges are requesting search or browse results by calling the Search method. There's no charge for importing or managing user events or catalog information.

Search and browse queries in Retail Search are charged at $2.50 per 1000 requests.

Other Google Retail Commerce Services

Goolge's latest release of Retail Search complements their other Ai driven eCommerce services which includes the Visual Search and Recommendations APIs.

With Visual Search your product catalog is searchable using visual recognition Ai to return visually similar products. While the recommendations Ai takes into account the product catalog and client events to recommend products specifically for the user.

Summary of Google Retail Search

The Google Retail Search service aims to alleviate a major pain point in online commerce. The ability to quickly integrate Retail Search using Google tools means adoption can be quick and relatively painless. I think this will be a powerful addition to many of my clients eCommerce sites especially those with large catalogs and search traffic.

Stay tuned at Discourse Digital for continued feedback on implementations of Google's Retail products as I deploy real world solutions!

New Ai Powered Retail Search Service from Google
JD Berkowitz 7 April, 2022
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