AI for Retailers: Google Launched New Features Based on AI for Retail Websites

Updated: April 17, 2023

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Recently, SEO professionals have been trying to understand the impacts of the mass arrival of AI tools, such as many AI-writer assistants (e.g. Lex and ChatGPT).

They need to rethink strategies, considering all these AI tools‘ advantages but making sure to maintain humanized experiences.

And if that wasn’t enough to worry about, well… there’s more to come: Google Cloud has just launched new features also based on AI and machine learning as enablers of retail websites. 

Google calls this bundle of features “Discovery AI for retail”, intending to enable e-commerce sites to offer a more personalized experience in search results and Google recommendations inside their properties.

These solutions have the primary purposes of reducing search abandonment, improving the shopping experience, and increasing conversion.

Note that I mentioned “inside its properties” above. That’s right! I’m not referring to the SERP results, but literally to the browsing experience that e-commerce sites themselves may offer.

How’s that going to work? Well, allow me to explain everything you need to know about AI for retailers. 

Improved Shopping Experience

Google Cloud, which announced the launch of these features on January 13, highlights that this set of solutions provides a significant improvement in the shopping experience using features such as:

  • Image attributes that will help find products
  • Understanding user behavior through previous browsing experiences.

A highly likely potential scenario is that retailers may offer consumers more personalized product lists that closely identify with their real expectations.

What we usually see nowadays are lists of products classified in ways that are much more focused on business needs, with highlights such as “bestsellers” or collections of products according to seasonality, season changes, etc., which do not always represent what the user wants to buy.

Product recommendations will also have a more dynamic presentation, which can be much more efficient and, consequently, increase the chances of sales.

See Macy’s case, which already uses the solution, making use of AI for retailers and offering more individualized experiences for its customers in the online store.

Macy’s delivers a personalized shopping experience with Google Cloud Discovery solutions (Source: Google Cloud YouTube channel)

In addition, I also believe we can expect better results for “long tail” searches because AI can better understand them. Until then when we used to look for a specific product, these sites generated poor returns.

AI-based Inventory Control

Another huge feature that Google Cloud includes in their AI offerings, is “shelf check”.

Last Friday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai posted on his Twitter account that one of these new AI features would also “use machine learning models to identify billions of products based on visual and text features, helping retailers check their in-store shelf stock”.

On the same day, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Google Cloud said that this feature should be available in the coming months.

Reinforcing Pichai’s post, they also claim that the algorithm will be able to detect and verify the availability of packaged products still on the shelves through the images captured by the cameras installed in the physical storage locations.

The solution would solve a current problem for retailers who currently control availability updates manually with little security, and who do not always carry them out in real time.

As a marketer, staying on top of the latest trends and best practices is crucial. That’s why I personally subscribe to The Beat, Rock Content’s interactive newsletter. It’s my go-to source for all things digital marketing, and I think it should be yours too.

Trust me, you won’t regret it. So come join me and other marketing pros in The Beat. See you there!


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