Google has outlined a range of coming eCommerce tools, as it looks to help facilitate expanded user interest in online shopping, and changing search behaviors around product listings within its products.
And these additions could have a big impact. According to Google, over a billion shopping sessions are now conducted across its apps every single day.
The platform remains the key discovery starting point for a great many eCommerce searches - and as such, if you want to ensure your products are being found, you need to align with the latest Google search trends and additions to maximize your exposure potential.
Here's a look at what coming to Google's shopping tools.
First off, after announcing a new Shopify integration to streamline its Google Shopping connection process earlier this month, Google is now expanding its third-party shopping partners, with WooCommerce, GoDaddy and Square all soon set to join the platform's eCommerce integrations.
That will provide new, simplified processes to enable integration with these platforms into Google's shopping listings, which will make it easier to connect up your existing processes and port them into Google's product displays across search, Maps and YouTube.
In addition to this, Google is looking to stay in touch with the next phase of digital product discovery, through the expanded use of AR for item listings and promotions.
"We launched an AR (augmented reality) makeup kit try-on experience for lipstick and eyeshadow, and soon consumers will be able to find that perfectly matching foundation, from brands like L'Oreal and Estee Lauder."
As you can see here, the new AR displays will be available in various Google discovery surfaces, while AR Try On tools have been available on YouTube since 2019.
But Google's also looking to take those tools a step further:
"Consumers also want to visualize how clothing will look on them. We’re rolling out a new AR apparel experience to show shoppers how different tops appear on people like them."
Enabling full virtual try-on experiences, through advanced body mapping, is the next stage of eCommerce discovery, and merging the IRL shopping experience with online tools. Snapchat has made the most significant advances on this front, with its footwear try on tools and advancing Body Tracking Lenses that will eventually facilitate complete try-on experiences. It seems that Google, too, is now moving in this direction.
Video is also where Google is looking to advance its general shop listings, with updated, integrated video displays for product demos and listings.
Given the popularity of video content more broadly, the integration makes sense, and it'll be interesting to see how Google incorporates these new options into search and maps - which could make Google My Business listings a much more significant consideration for eCommerce in the near future.
Google's also working on more practical connection tools, like linking up brand loyalty benefits.
"If a consumer has a loyalty account with you, they will soon be able to instantly link it. If a consumer doesn’t, they’ll be able to easily join your loyalty program with a click of the “Create Account” button."
That could help to facilitate increased brand connection, and improve brand loyalty - which is an important element in linking up your eCommerce platforms to third-party search and discovery platforms (i.e. you can still maintain connection, despite the linkage being indirect).
In a similar vein, Google's also looking to provide more ways to help consumers find relevant discount codes online, aligning with rising search behavior.
"The power of branding has never been more important, but we also know sometimes consumers are just looking for a good deal. Searches for “discount code” have increased 50% since last year, and these searches are great moments for you to drive more sales."
Google will look to provide more ways to connect users to these results, and highlight relevant deals within its apps, helping to boost sales and promotional activity.
That also relates to its new unified buying options display on product listings.
That will make it easier for shoppers to find the most relevant options for them, based on Google's ever-expanding database of product listings.
Google's also looking to make improvements to its local inventory display, which will soon show products that are available for immediate store pick up, curbside pickup or pick up later.
While it's also looking to add more business listing details, highlighting women-led businesses and other attributes.
These are some interesting developments, and they definitely underline the need for brands to pay more attention to their Google listing options, which are facilitating via the Google My Business platform. If you haven't considered your direct connection options from Google search, it may be time to re-investigate, and update your Google My Business details to maximize your sales potential.