“We’re bringing together the best in commerce with the best in search to solve a complex and costly problem for enterprise retailers — world-class search and discovery for the online store,” said Harley Finkelstein, President of Shopify in a statement.
The integration is now available globally in most languages, equipping brands with AI-driven product discovery capabilities including:
- Google Cloud Retail Search, which provides advanced query understanding that can produce better results even from broad queries, including non-product and semantic searches, to more effectively match product attributes with website content for fast, relevant product discovery;
- An AI-powered browse feature that uses machine learning to select the optimal ordering of products on a retailer’s ecommerce site once shoppers choose a category, like “women’s jackets” or “kitchenware.” Over time, the AI learns the preferred product ordering for each page on an ecommerce site using historical data, optimizing how and what products are shown for accuracy, relevance and the likelihood of making a sale;
- An AI-driven personalization capability that customizes the results customers get when they search and browse retailers’ websites. The AI underpinning the personalization capability uses a customer’s behavior on an ecommerce site, such as their clicks, cart adds, purchases and other information, to determine shopper taste and preferences;
- A Google Cloud Recommendations AI solution that helps retailers deliver personalized recommendations at scale; and
- Advanced security and privacy practices that help ensure retailer data is isolated with strong access controls and is only used to deliver relevant search results on their own properties.
“Shopify integrating Google Cloud’s Discovery AI technology into its enterprise retail solution puts the power of AI directly into the hands of merchants and brands to solve everyday problems,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud in a statement. “Now, retailers will be able to enhance their digital properties with better product discovery experiences, creating more fulfilling shopping experiences for their customers.”
New research from a Google Cloud-commissioned Harris Poll survey found that search abandonment —when a shopper searches for a product on a retailer’s website or app but doesn’t find what they are looking for — costs retailers more than $2 trillion annually globally, and more than $234 billion in the U.S. alone.
Shoppers themselves said they depend on the search function when shopping — it’s the most common way U.S. consumers look for products on retail websites (69%), followed closely by general website browsing (63%). And yet little more than one in 10 U.S. shoppers said they get exact results for their queries (12%) or good alternatives (11%) every time they use the search function on a retailer’s site.
Apparel chain and Shopify merchant Rainbow Shops recently integrated Google Cloud’s Discovery AI solutions online and found that the Google search offering delivered helpful results to test queries 100% of the time, which was a vast improvement over specialty search services the retailer had used in the past. In addition to accuracy, Rainbow Shops said it also saw an immediate reduction in the amount of time its teams had to spend on manually refining search results and creating redirects to generate useful results.
“Rainbow Shops is using Google Cloud’s AI tools to create an undeniably better shopping experience for our customers,” said David Cost, VP of Ecommerce and Marketing at Rainbow Shops in a statement. “In just three months we’ve already seen search volume increase 48% and our bounce rate on visits has decreased three-fold.
“Now our search bar can handle almost anything our shoppers throw at it, surfacing helpful product results for nuanced queries like ‘lbd’ (little black dress) and extremely general searches like ‘Mardi Gras,’” Cost added. “We’ve also significantly advanced our ability to produce relevant results when a shopper has a typo in their query, which is commonly seen among our many customers now shopping on mobile devices.”