Tag Archives: Google Shopping

5 new ways Google Assistant can make the day a little easier

Spring is here, and with it, a helping hand from Google Assistant. Today we're introducing five new features that help you tackle small things around the house (and from the car).  

1) Can’t remember where you put down your phone?Don’t sweat it. Already one of the most popular features for Google Assistant, you can tell your Nest smart speaker or smart display, “Hey Google, find my phone,” for all devices, now including iPhones. For iPhones, once you opt in to receiving notifications and critical alerts from the Google Home app, you’ll get a notification and hear a custom ringing sound (even when the phone is on silent or if Do Not Disturb is enabled).

2) Get your takeout faster.Over the last year, more and more people started ordering takeout and delivery on Google, and more restaurants added the “order” button to their Business Profiles on Search and Maps. To make online food orders even easier, Assistant can now help you complete your purchase in only a few steps powered by Duplex on the web. To get started, you’ll need to first search for a restaurant near you from the Google App on Android and select “Order Online” or “Order Pickup.”  When you finish your online takeout order from a restaurant we partner with and click “check out,” Assistant will automatically navigate the site and fill out your contact and payment details saved in Google Pay and synced to Chrome Autofill. At launch, we’re partnering with select restaurant chains and will be adding more across the U.S. later this year.  

3) Try a new sunrise or sunset Routine for your smart home devices.Now available globally, these Routines are based on your  location. For example, you can automatically have your living room lights turn on and the sprinklers start when the sun goes down. It’s easy to set up: 

  • Select the “New” routine tab in the Google Home app or Assistant settings. 
  • Under “how to start,” you’ll need to “add starter,” then you’ll see an option for “Sunrise/sunset.”
  • From there, you can customize the time and specific actions you want them to trigger. 

4) Need routine ideas?Assistant Routines make it easy to automatically perform multiple actions at once with a single command. We’ve included a dedicated section in Ready-Made Routines to highlight popular “suggested actions” to  inspire you, such as “Tell me if my battery is low” or “Tell me what happened today in history.” You can also add a “shortcut” icon to your Android home screen for your favorite Routines. Head to the overview screen for Routines in the Google Home app or Assistant Settings and click the “Add to Home Screen” icon in the top app bar.

5) Have questions about the Oscars?You can get the inside scoop from your Google Assistant. Just ask: “Hey Google, when are the Oscars?” or “Hey Google, who’s nominated for Animated Feature Film at the Oscars?” to hear the list of nominees. To hear some predictions ahead of the red carpet, try “Hey Google, what are your Oscar predictions? or “Hey Google, who do you think is best dressed at the Oscars?” You can also join in on the award night fun by saying, “Hey Google, give me an award.”

Discover the best products for everything on Google

When you shop for products — whether for your home, your family or yourself — you should feel confident knowing you’re making a good decision and buying the best product for your needs. Search interest for products like the "best exercise bikes," "best ring lights" and "best air fryers" increased by 100% or more in the last year,  signaling that these days, people are increasingly using the Internet to research and discover products to buy. 

Today we’re making it easier for you to discover top products with the Best Things for Everything Guide, a microsite that highlights 1,000 products based on what’s popular on the web, so you can easily find great choices.

The best products for...everything

For the next several weeks, you can browse the site and discover products, or choose from one of eight product categories, ranging from tech to home to parenting. Looking for a better way to start your morning? You can browse top coffee makers to help get your day started. Want a better way to unwind at night? We’ve highlighted the best pillows to give you a good night’s rest. Once you’ve found a product you like, just tap to find more information on the product description page, including prices, reviews and places to buy. 

An animation showing different products in the Best Things for Everything guide on a mobile phone

If you’re looking for something that isn’t on the site, Google has plenty of tools you can use. Find user reviews right on a Shopping product page, compare prices and check out product availability options both online and nearby: select the “available nearby” filter on the Google Search ‘Shopping’ tab to see local stores, in-stock information and curbside pickup options. 

An animation showing a price tracker set for an Instant Pot, showing up on a mobile phone home screen.

With the Best Things for Everything guide and Google, you can discover top products and the best places to buy them.

Honoring the legacy of Black-owned businesses in the U.S.

In this post:This Black History Month, we’re highlighting Black-owned businesses and showing our support through funding and training.

In 1946, Irene and Clint Cleaves opened The Four Way Grill with a simple mission: Serve the best soul food in all of Memphis. And for the last 75 years, they’ve done just that and more. In its early days, The Four Way was one of the few places where Black and white diners sat together, and it was considered a safe haven for leaders of the civil rights movement to recharge and enjoy a good meal. And today under the stewardship of the Bates family, The Four Way Restaurant remains a cornerstone of the Memphis community and symbol of Black American history. 

Historically, Black-owned businesses have served as gathering spots for Black communities throughout the country and provided a strong sense of ownership and belonging for those who were denied equal rights. And today, as more Black businesses come online, they’re creating new pathways for economic opportunity and generational wealth in the Black community. As we kick off the first day of Black History Month, we want to shine a light on Black-owned businesses, big and small, and honor their resilience and ingenuity.

Making it easier to find and support Black businesses 

In the past 12 months, Google search interest for “black owned businesses” has skyrocketed 600% based on Google Trends data comparing January-December 2019 to January-December 2020. Across the country, people have been looking for “black owned restaurants,” “black owned bookstores,” “black owned beauty supply” and more, which speaks to the diversity within the Black business community. We want to make it easier for people to support and spend dollars with the Black businesses they love. Starting today, we’re extending the Black-owned attribute to Google’s Shopping tab, so people can easily identify and buy from Black-owned businesses on Google. Business owners can add the Black-owned attribute by visiting the Google Merchant Help Center. The feature will become visible to shoppers and available to all U.S. Google Merchants in coming months. This update builds on the Black-owned business attribute we launched across Google Search and Maps last summer and is another way people can shop with Black businesses across Google’s products and platforms. 

The Black-owned business attribute on Google’s Shopping tab.

The Black-owned business attribute on Google’s Shopping tab.

Funding organizations that support the Black small business community 

Reports have shown that 41% of Black-owned businesses — about 440,000 businesses — have been shuttered due to COVID-19. Through our partnership with Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), over $30 million in loans and Google.org grants to support Black-owned businesses and community lenders have been distributed to local organizations; that’s out of the $50 million we committed through the Grow with Google Small Business Fund announced back in June. We also provided a $5 million Google.org grantto Common Future, which through its network, has distributed the funding to community organizations supporting women and minority small business owners throughout the U.S. and is providing technical assistance and coaching to businesses. Click through to meet some of the Black-owned small businesses and community-centered organizations that have received funding.

In addition to financial support, Google recently expanded the Grow with Google Digital Coaches program to 20 cities across the U.S. in order to provide 50,000 additional Black-owned businesses with mentorship, networking and training they need to grow. To date, Digital Coaches have helped train over 58,000 Black and Latino small business owners through more than 1,000 digital skills workshops. Throughout Black History Month, our Digital Coaches will host tailored digital skills workshops for Black business owners in their communities. 

These events will culminate in a virtual, national Black Small Business Meetup on February 25 with free workshops, panels and best-practice sharing for more than 500 Black small business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders from across the country. Sign up to attend the free virtual summit at our event website. 

Black businesses are critical to the growth and recovery of the U.S. economy. It’s imperative that we support and invest in Black business owners, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many of their businesses to close. Black-owned businesses have a rich legacy of community and activism, and it's our collective responsibility to ensure that their legacy continues to thrive for generations to come. 

Shopping for a beauty product? Try it on with Google.

I’ve been doing most of my shopping online this year and it seems I’m not alone. With the holidays right around the corner, more than 73 percent of U.S. shoppers are planning to buy online. There are plenty of perks with online shopping, from the convenience of doing it from your couch to the multitude of options right at your fingertips.

At the same time, many still crave that in-store experience, whether it’s seeing a product up close, trying it on or getting advice from in-store experts. So we’re bringing some of the benefits of in-store shopping to your phone, with new features launching this week in the U.S.

Visualize makeup looks and try on products 

If you’re shopping for beauty products, it’s difficult to make a decision on such personal items without trying them on. Say you want to know how sheer a lip gloss is, how much pigment is in an eyeshadow or what a product will look like on your skin tone, it can be difficult to understand these things without seeing the products up close. 

To make it easier for you to answer these questions from home, we’re working with data partners ModiFace and Perfect Corp to help you better visualize thousands of lipstick and eyeshadow shades from your favorite brands like L’Oreal, MAC Cosmetics, Black Opal and Charlotte Tilbury. Now, when you search for a lipstick or eyeshadow product, like L’Oreal’s Infallible Paints Metallic Eyeshadow, you can see what it looks like on a range of skin tones and compare shades and textures to help you find the right products.

How you can try on lipstick and eyeshadow

To help you find the perfect match, you can now also virtually try makeup products right from the Google app. Find the perfect nude lip by searching for MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick and quickly trying each shade in the collection. If you’re looking for a velvety matte lipstick for your holiday video calls with family and friends, search for NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment and find the color that matches your style.

Woman trying on lipstick

Get recs from experts and enthusiasts

Sometimes it’s helpful to get recommendations and see how products work for other people. Now as you browse Google Shopping on your phone or scroll through the Discover feed in the Google app, we'll show recommendations from beauty, apparel and home and garden enthusiasts and experts about their favorite products. If a product catches your eye, you can hear directly from experts on why they love the product and how they use it. 

Hear from professional makeup artist Jonet on what products can help you achieve that dewy fresh look or learn how Homesick Candles make the perfect holiday present.  Once you’ve found a product you love, you’ll be able to easily shop these recommendations. This new feature comes from work done by the Shoploop team, which was formerly part of Area 120, Google's in-house incubator.

We hope these new shopping tools will make it easier for you to find products you’ll love while shopping from home.

Find trending products on the Google Shopping Gift Guide

What do you buy for the techie who has everything? Or the chef who’s always trying new recipes? Turn to the Google Shopping Gift Guide for inspiration. It has great finds for everyone on your list and uses U.S. Search trends to predict December’s most popular products.

For that person in your life

We’ve identified trending product categories over the past few months, and translated them into gift lists for the people in your life. Searches for cookware rose 34 percent since last year, as more people cooked at home, so we’ve gathered the top trending kitchen products for your favorite amateur chef. At the top of the list: the Mr. Coffee Iced Coffee Maker, closely followed by the Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven. 

And the Google Shopping Gift Guide is not just for the chefs—you’ll find trending gifts for athletes, techies, decorators, wellness gurus, gamers and kids.

Google Shopping Gift Guide

Find the best prices and places to buy

Once you’ve found that perfect gift, continue shopping on Google where you can find the best prices and places to buy.  

With thousands of stores in one place, you can find what you’re looking for, online or nearby. Nearby store listings show store hours and stock alerts, so you don’t waste a trip. And, if you’d rather keep those trips quick, you can see which stores offer in-store or curbside pickup.

Price insights show whether the price offered for a product is high, low or typical, compared to other prices across the web and in nearby stores. If you’re not ready to buy, you can switch on price tracking and get an alert if the price drops.

Price insights on Google shopping

With the Google Shopping Gift Guide and other shopping tools on Google, we hope you find the perfect gifts—and maybe something for yourself too!

Shop early for the best holiday deals online and nearby

Black Friday typically has the biggest deals of the season. But this year, holiday shopping is starting earlier than usual. With safety top of mind, retailers have moved away from typical doorbuster events and are beginning to promote their discounts online. Shoppers are starting earlier too: searches for“early deals” in the U.S. have increased significantly over the last month. 

To help you take advantage of these deals in online and local stores, we’re sharing some new and revamped features on Google Shopping in the U.S.—including price insights, price comparison and price tracking. And if you’re looking for additional ways to shop safely from stores in your community, check out our previous post from September to see how Google can help.

Know whether you’ve found a good price

Everyone loves finding a good deal, but it can be difficult to know how “good” that deal really is. Starting today, you can quickly see whether the price offered for an item is high, low or typical, compared to other prices from across the web and in nearby stores. Just search on Google and hop over to the Shopping tab. Then, select your favorite product to land on the Shopping product page, where you’ll find these new price insights.

Animation showing price insights on Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1

Easily compare prices and shipping options 

From the same page, you can also view various price and purchasing options from a range of stores, with both online and local options listed for easy comparison. Over the next few days, you’ll see curbside and in-store pickup annotations as well. 

Animation showing a product page including compare prices and more locations tabs

Track prices to get notifications for future deals

Too early to make your purchase or didn’t find the deal you’re looking for? You can turn on price tracking from Shopping product pages to receive alerts for price drops on any products you’re considering. Just make sure you’re signed into your Google account and you’ll receive notifications through email or on the Google Search app. To see all the products you’re tracking or to unsubscribe from alerts, just head to your Google account and go to My Activity.

Animation showing price tracking

We hope these tools will help you get a jumpstart on your shopping, so you can find all the best gifts, prices, and places to buy.

Help for retailers and shoppers in Asia Pacific

Retailers have played a vital role in Asia Pacific’s response to COVID-19, battling through a tough economic environment while serving their customers and communities, providing essential products and services, and supporting jobs. 

As more of the region’s businesses turn to ecommerce, we’ve been focused on supporting them in every way we can—including helping retailers list their products online for free. We’ve been doing this in India and Indonesia since 2019, and now we’re extending similar support across the broader region: making it free for merchants in Asia Pacific to list their products on the Google Shopping tab.  

For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, it means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings. 

We made this change earlier this year in the United States, and retailers running free listings and ads got an average of twice as many views and 50 percent more visits. Small and medium-sized businesses saw the biggest increases.

Asia’s changing retail scene

This is a time of huge change in the way people shop and sell across Asia Pacific. Even before the pandemic, e-commerce was growing fast—in Southeast Asia, for example, the regional internet economy reached $100 billion in 2019, on its way to a forecast $300 billion by 2025. 

COVID-19 has sped up these trends. According to Google analysis, 53 percent of online shoppers in APAC say they’ll choose to buy online more frequently after the pandemic, while almost 40 per cent of people who weren’t online shoppers before say they intend to continue buying online. One in three have bought from a brand they didn’t shop with before. 

To help retailers adjust to these changes, we’re offering skills training through Grow with Google and sharing research and insights to inform their business decisions. We’ve launched a playbook and webinar series on how to better manage digital storefronts. And we’re working closely with many of our partners to help merchants manage their products and inventory. This includes global partners like Shopify, and those across the region, including Haravan in Vietnam, Shopline in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and LnwShop in Thailand. 

In advancing our plans with Google Shopping, we hope to build on these programs, providing extra support and relief for Asia Pacific retailers when it’s needed most.  

What’s next? 

Existing users of Merchant Center and Shopping ads don't have to do anything to take advantage of the free listings. For new users of Merchant Center, we'll continue working to streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months.

We’re looking forward to working even more closely with retailers throughout Asia Pacific, helping shoppers find the products they need more easily, contributing to the recovery from COVID-19, and preparing for longer-term change in regional commerce.

Shop safely and easily from stores in your community

Convenience and safety are important when you’re deciding how to shop–in fact, we’ve seen Google searches for “curbside pickup” and “safe shopping” increase tenfold in the last few months. And while you may want to support the stores nearby that have opened their doors, figuring out the best way to do so can be challenging. Which stores have reopened? Do they have the item you want in stock? Do they offer any services to minimize contact and time in store for shoppers? 

We want to help take away some of the unknowns when it comes to shopping in person. Here are a few ways we’ve improved Shopping results on Google Search, to help you safely and easily support the stores in your community. 

Filter to see what’s locally available 

Want to see an item in person before purchasing, or can’t wait for shipping and delivery? Whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s a new laptop for working from home, a baby jacket for fall or a grill for backyard barbeques, Google makes it easy for you to see what’s available locally. Simply tap the Shopping tab, and select the Nearby filter at the top of the page or add “near me” to your search to view product options available from stores located near you.  

Google Shopping Nearby

Compare hours, locations and inventory before you go  

It’s now easier to see what’s in stores near you before committing to going in person, with a map view and list of stores in the area. You can check each business’s opening and closing hours, as well as how far each store is from you. You’ll also get a preview of the items they sell that match what you searched for, with a carousel you can scroll through to see pictures and prices of the available products. 

Google Shopping Compare

Safely pick up what you need with curbside or in-store pickup

If you’re worried about how to shop safely, we make it easy to see which stores offer ways to minimize contact while shopping with labels to indicate if shops offer curbside or in-store pickup.

If you’re concerned an item will be out of stock when you get to the store, you can just click to call and speak with someone to confirm inventory. There’s also a direct link to navigation to get you there right away if you’re in a rush. 

Shopping in person comes with new challenges these days, but luckily stores are making it easier to adjust. And if you’re a local business interested in helping shoppers find your store hours, locations, products, and pickup options on Google, you can create or update your Google My Business profile or upload your local product feed through Google Merchant Center.

We’ll keep working to provide more helpful answers to your shopping questions and needs, so that you can safely and easily pick up what you’re looking for while supporting the stores in your community.

“Accelerating Retail” in Europe, Middle East and Africa

Online tools have been a lifeline for many in lockdown, helping people stay connected with loved ones, work remotely, access news and information, and shop for essentials. The use of technology by people and businesses leapt forward perhaps five years over a period of eight weeks, and internet usage increased by 60 percent. Changes in consumer behavior are driving businesses to adapt the way they communicate with customers, while retailers around the world have seen their business models turned upside down.

Because of this big shift, digital tools and skills will be a vital catalyst to accelerate an economic comeback. Earlier this summer we pledged to help 10 million people and businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa find jobs, digitize and grow over the next 18 months. Retail, which accounts for more than 9 percent of jobs in the EU alone, will play a pivotal role in the recovery.

Today we’re kicking off "Accelerating Retail," a month of activities dedicated to helping retailers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa accelerate their business recovery and growth to be ready for what comes next. We’re helping retailers of all sizes across the region be ready for the peak shopping season, and working in close partnership with local commerce and trade associations in many countries. Over the next month, we'll introduce new products, tools, free training, unique real time insights and other resources—what follows is a brief snapshot of some of this.

Consumer needs have changed, and retailers need to respond

As the world around us has changed, consumer online shopping has leapt forward and decision-making has become more complex. Our Decoding Decisions study identified a “messy middle,” the space between a consumer starting their research and making a purchase, where they navigate the explosion of choice and information available to them both online and offline. 

The messy middle has become even messier over the course of the pandemic—our needs changed, product and store availability became unpredictable. Shoppers have become more open to new brands and outlets, but they also need more help than ever to find the right product at the right price at the right time and place. This big shift is an opportunity for retail businesses large and small. 

We’re here to help retailers respond effectively—so they can quickly understand and act on consumer changes while building their brand both at store and online.

Recovery and growth through digital 

Online retail demand has grown exponentially, and businesses need a great customer experience to be competitive and build brand recognition. That’s why we’re rolling out a new version of Grow My Store in multiple countries, including Germany, France, Netherlands and Turkey. Grow My Store helps local businesses improve digital shopping, grow customer traffic and optimize online customer experience,  to successfully complete  transactions. Any business can enter their website URL into the tool to receive a customized report, industry benchmarks, digital traffic trends and actionable tips to improve. 

Grow my Store.gif

We’re also making it easier for retailers to reach the right potential customers. We’ll be upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to help with new customer acquisition and simplify advertiser onboarding. 

Meanwhile, for the first time we’ve released insights for specific fast-rising retail categories around the world via a new interactive tool in Google Search—including the queries associated with them.

What's next for online shopping

As online spend continues to grow, retail success will depend on delivering an integrated online/offline purchase experience. New research we’ve conducted in collaboration with Euromonitor found that in the next five years, most purchases will still be made in store—but retailers who bring together their digital and in-store offerings will make the biggest gains even if customers eventually choose to buy in store. Since consumers shop both online and offline, multichannel retailers and online marketplaces will drive 86 percent of the sales growth by 2024. The future of retail is not about either physical or online presence but an integrated consumer experience.

While there might be more change and uncertainty on the horizon, retail is critical to every region’s broader economic recovery. By embracing digital opportunities, retail businesses can drive resilience and growth. 

Look out for our "Accelerating Retail" updates through September—we're here to help retailers make the most of digital opportunities and prepare for what's next.

Buy on Google is now open and commission-free

Over the past few months, we’ve made significant changes to help businesses reach more consumers and help people find the best products, prices and places to buy online. We made it free for retailers to list productson Google Shopping in the U.S., and we brought these free listings to Search as well. 

Today, we’re taking another important step to make it easier for retailers to sell on Google. Soon, sellers who participate in our Buy on Google checkout experience will no longer have to pay us a commission fee. And, we’re giving retailers more choice by opening our platform to third-party providers—starting with PayPal and Shopify.

These changes are about providing all businesses—from small stores to national chains and online marketplaces—the best place to connect with customers, regardless of where a purchase eventually occurs. With more products and stores available for discovery and the option to buy directly on Google or on a retailer’s site, shoppers will have more choice across the board.

Here’s more on what’s new for retailers:

Zero commission fees when customers buy your products on Google

While retailers have several options for driving traffic to their website with free listings or with Shopping ads, many also use Buy on Google to give shoppers a convenient way to purchase something right when they discover it. By removing our commission fees, we’re lowering the cost of doing business and making it even easier for retailers of all sizes to sell directly on Google, starting with a pilot that we’ll expand to all eligible sellers in the U.S. over the coming months. Learn more about the requirements for the pilot and sign up to join the waitlist. 

Buy on Google.png

Bring your own third-party providers, starting with PayPal and Shopify

We’ve heard from retailers that they want the ability to choose their preferred services for things like payment processing, inventory, and order management. That’s why we’re opening our platform to more digital commerce providers, beginning with Shopify for inventory and order management and PayPal and Shopify for payment processing. So, if a retailer wants to sell directly on Google, they can get started even faster and continue using the tools and services that already work for their business. Or, if they’re new to selling online, they’ll be able to choose from multiple options when they sign up in our Merchant Center.

Import your inventory with just a few clicks

To simplify our tools and make them more compatible with merchants’ existing processes, we’re enabling commonly-used product feed formats. This means retailers can connect their inventory to sell directly on Google without having to reformat their data. We’re also adding a new option to let retailers add product information (like images or technical specs) by pulling from our existing database rather than having to upload it themselves.

More products, more sellers, more choice

As we’ve made it easier for a broader set of retailers to sell on Google this year, we’re also seeing a significant increase in demand to buy from and support small businesses. To help people discover these smaller merchants, we also plan to add a new small business filter on the Google Shopping tab and will continue adding features to help small businesses participate in online commerce.

Everything we’re announcing today will roll out first in the U.S., and we’re looking toward international launches later this year and in 2021. While we still have much work ahead of us, our goal is to make digital commerce more accessible for retailers of all sizes all around the world, giving consumers more choice and more ways to find the best products, stores, and prices.