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Google Shopping just got a makeover, but it still doesn’t have a prayer against Amazon

Published Oct 3rd, 2019 6:01AM EDT
Google vs Amazon
Image: Julien de Rosa/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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Google was talking up coming improvements to its online shopping service back in May at Google Marketing Live, promising that the absorption of the Google Express brand within Google Shopping would preface other changes meant to give shoppers more convenience and an all-around better shopping experience.

That’s all another way of saying the search giant has long wanted to grab a bigger piece of the market currently dominated by Amazon. By way of continuing down that path, Google today is announcing yet more news in this regard: A revamped design for Google Shopping that’s now available in the US for both mobile and desktop users.

In addition to what it hopes is a better overall user experience, Google today also announced that it’s using Google Lens functionality to give users clothing style ideas — which would hopefully then spur the users to buy what they see via Google Shopping.

“Whether you’re window shopping or searching for new clothes on your phone, it’s easy to identify what you like, but it’s not always easy to figure out how you’d wear it yourself,” Google Lens product manager Kelly Schaefer explains in a company blog post. “That’s where Google Lens can help. You can already use Lens to get similar item suggestions for clothing and home decor, and today we’re adding a new feature in the US called ‘style ideas’ to give you outfit inspiration from around the web.”

Image source: Google

It’s a nifty feature that seems tailor-made for juicing activity around Google’s shopping ambitions, even if Schaefer’s post adds that it doesn’t just have to be about shopping. You can use this feature too, she notes, simply to get new ideas on how to style clothes you already own.

Make no mistake, though. The company wants to boost activity around Google Shopping, and it’s hoping that features including a personalized homepage that offers product suggestions (something, of course, Amazon also does) will help drive that activity. “And when you’re ready to buy,” Google vice president of product management for Shopping Surojit Chatterjee explains in another blog post today, “you can choose to purchase online, at a nearby store, or directly from retailers on Google.”

Another feature users may find useful is price-tracking. “Once you’ve found the product you need, turn on ‘price track’ and you’ll receive a notification on your phone when the price of that item drops,” Chatterjee’s post adds. “In the coming weeks, you’ll have the option to receive those notifications through email.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.