Google equips online retailers with AI and ML

  • January 26, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Google Cloud has introduced a software suite to equip online retailers with AI and ML technologies for delivering a smarter and more customised shopping experience.

Product Discovery for Retail was built to help retailers around the globe enhance their ecommerce capabilities and deliver personalised consumer experiences during the first phase of their shopping journeys. Retailers can implement seamless search and recommendation capabilities that enhance consumer engagement and improve conversions across retailers’ digital properties.

The global retail industry, which has grappled with the shift to online shopping for a decade, is now facing one of its most unpredictable periods as businesses adapt to Covid-19. As more shopping goes online, retailers are facing pressure to prioritise ecommerce improvements that enhance the entire consumer shopping journey, while also driving bottom-line sales for their businesses.

“As the shift to online continues, smarter and more personalised shopping experiences will be even more critical for retailers to rise above their competition,” said Carrie Tharp, vice president of retail at Google Cloud. “Retailers are in dire need of agile operating models powered by cloud infrastructure and technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to meet today’s industry demands. We’re proud to partner with retailers around the world, and bring forward our Product Discovery offerings to help them succeed.”

In collaboration with some of the world’s leading retailers and leveraging Google’s semantic understanding of online search and user intent, Product Discovery brings together AI algorithms with the scalable infrastructure of Google Cloud.

Now generally available, the AI lets retailers deliver personalised product recommendations at scale and across all channels. It can piece together the history of a customer’s shopping journey and serve them with customised product recommendations. The AI uses Google Cloud’s machine-learning architectures so retailers can dynamically adapt to real-time user behaviour and changes, accounting for variables such as assortment and pricing, to ensure a smooth shopping experience. 

The vision API product search allows retailers to adapt to how consumers are finding product inspiration and discovery whether that happens from retailer specific web sites or on social media platforms. Shoppers can search for products with an image and receive a ranked list of visually and semantically similar items. It uses ML-powered object recognition and lookup to provide real-time results of similar, or complementary, items from retailers’ product catalogues.

Google Cloud Search for Retail, available in private preview, pulls from Google’s understanding of user intent and context to provide retailers with product search functionality that can be embedded into their web sites and mobile apps. Retailers benefit from Google’s search capabilities to provide intuitive search functionalities that are configurable to meet the specific needs of each retail organisation.