Google Goggles And Local Product Search Give Retail Some Love

by , Nov 16, 2010, 4:03 PM
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GiftGoogle stepped up a focus on retail this week with the launch of a marketing experiment based on Google Goggles and a local search service that make it easier for consumers to find and confirm products in stock at a local physical store by first searching online.

Although a long time coming, the Mountain View, Calif. tech company finally launched a Google Goggles marketing experiment where Buick, Disney, Diageo, T-Mobile and Delta Airlines extend some offline marketing services to the mobile Web. The five brands embedded a Goggles symbol in print ads, movie posters and other media. When consumers take pictures of these with the Google Goggles app on an Android running phone, the platform gives users the option to click through to a mobile destination such as a branded Web site.

Google Goggles lets people take a photo of an object and do a visual search. Google returns relevant search results based on photo recognition technology. It became clear that Google would eventually try this experiment during an exchange of ideas in early October with Shailesh Nalawadi, product manager of Google Goggles.

Online retail sales in the U.S. will rise 16% to nearly $52 billion during the 2010 holiday season, according to Forrester Research. A recent survey from the research group of 4,700 U.S. online consumers reveals that consumers will make 37% of purchases online this holiday season, up from 30% in 2009. Estimates from the National Retail Federation suggest a 2.3% rise in holiday retail holiday sales this year.

On Monday, Google added a local feature that allows consumers to search on products and click on the 'nearby stores' link to find a list of stores to call and check availability. Paul Lee, senior product manager of the Google Product Search Team, wrote in a blog post that the company partnered with more than 70 retail brands such as Williams-Sonoma, Guitar Center, and Office Depot. Through the partnerships, shoppers can check on the local availability of 4 billion items in local stores.

Aside from signing on the retail companies, Google partnered with retail software vendors JDA, Epicor, and Oracle to create special plug-ins that make it even easier for interested retailers to participate. Oracle acquired a few companies with strong functions to support retail such as ProfitLogic in the mid 2000s.

 

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