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Online Shoppers can now Control What Kind of Product Suggestions They Receive; Here's how

Google heralds a new era of personalized, immersive, and inclusive online shopping.
Cover Image Source: Women carrying shopping bags | Getty Images | Photo by Dan Kitwood
Cover Image Source: Women carrying shopping bags | Getty Images | Photo by Dan Kitwood

Online shopping is all about the convenience with which consumers can find any product that they desire and the options they get which are far more than those at retail stores. But ensuring all this comes with its fair share of challenges, and even tech behemoth Google, known for its sway over search algorithms and vast data collected through its Shopping Graph, acknowledges the necessity of user engagement in refining its product recommendations. Recognizing the connection between fashion and personal preference, the company has announced a series of updates aimed at empowering users to enhance their shopping experience.

Image Source: Pexels|Photo by Pixabay
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Pixabay

At the forefront of Google's latest innovations is the introduction of "Style Recommendations," a feature designed to solicit direct feedback from users on their product search results. "This feature enables individuals to rate search outcomes for apparel, shoes, and accessories, thereby refining personalized recommendations based on user preferences," explains Sean Scott, Vice President and General Manager of Consumer Shopping at Google.

Embracing a familiar rating mechanism akin to platforms like Stitch Fix, the company amalgamates artificial intelligence with user input to enhance the relevance and accuracy of its suggestions.

Most importantly, Google's approach emphasizes transparency and user control, offering individuals the option to disable the feature or fine-tune personalization settings according to their preferences. By helping users mark their favorite brands, Google further amplifies the collaborative nature of its platform, and enables consumers to actively participate in curating their shopping journey.

Holiday shopping Pexels | By Andrea Piacquadio
Image Source: Holiday shopping | Pexels | Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

A fundamental insight driving Google's strategy is the acknowledgment of fashion as a profoundly visual domain, traditionally constrained by textual descriptions. Leveraging advancements in computer vision technology, the company aims to transcend these limitations by enabling image-based searches facilitated by generative AI.

Complementing its image-based search capabilities, Google introduces an experimental AI-powered visualization tool, offering users the ability to conceptualize desired apparel styles effortlessly. 

But the quest for a truly immersive shopping experience doesn't end with visualizing products; it extends to envisioning how they might look when worn. Addressing this challenge, Google unveils its virtual apparel try-on feature, leveraging AI to simulate clothing on diverse human models.

By capturing the nuanced interactions between fabric and form, the company aims to bridge the gap between digital representation and real-world fit, thereby enhancing the confidence of online shoppers.

Pexels | cottonbro studio
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Cottonbro Studio

According to the company, Google registers over a billion shopping interactions daily, displaying over 45 billion products in search results. Additionally, it was disclosed that the platform refreshes its database with the latest details on pricing, product availability, and shipping information for over two billion listings every hour.

Acknowledging the persistence of erroneous recommendations and the complexities associated with figuring out individual preferences, Google focused on the indispensable role of user feedback in refining its algorithms. 

By empowering consumers to actively shape their shopping experiences and leveraging cutting-edge AI capabilities, Google heralds a new era of personalized, immersive, and inclusive online shopping. As the boundaries between virtual and physical realms continue to blur, the company remains steadfast in its mission to revolutionize the retail landscape, one user interaction at a time.