During its ‘Search On 2021’ event, Google announced a number of important and innovative updates to its Search platform including the upcoming MUM integration which will make cross-referencing and mixing data types in a query more fluid. Ultimately, every step taken during these events and the development in between is done in an effort to make AI speak your language and not the other way around.
Shopping is one area where this is most important. If you’re going to find exactly the right product with so many colors, types, brands, and more in the world, Search must be able to find you what you need before you click the purchase button and hand over cash. We’ve already seen several updates to Google Lens for desktop this past month, and now the official announcement for its arrival has been detailed.
Ultimately, the reason for its inclusion into the desktop version of Chrome has a lot to do with Google Shopping. The ability to select images, video, and text content on a site and quickly search for related results without leaving the tab you’re on will be possible over the next few weeks for all users – not just those in Canary.
Soon, iOS users will see a button on their screens while using Google Search that causes all images to be searchable with Lens. This will allow Apple phone owners to have the same benefit that Android has had for some time now via image search.
Luckily, we won’t have to wait for this next feature as it’s rolling out today. Browsing for clothes, shoes, and accessories on mobile will now be easier than ever with new search filters that are fashioned from and follow your search query. For example, if you search for ‘cropped jackets’, you’ll now see more than just the standard fare.
Instead, you’ll also have interactive results for product inventory (via the ‘in stock’ button) at local stores and online across 24 billion listings, style guides, colors filters, videos, and more! Once you select a highly specific product, you’ll then see reviews, ratings, and even price comparisons.
Google hopes not only to bolster small and local businesses, especially as many try to re-establish their operations mid and post-pandemic but also to help you find things easier. For me and likely many others, this means the difference between keeping things in mind and emptying my wallet. I can’t express how often the shopping experience just hasn’t been ideal, and finding what I need has been frustrating. This has led me to flat-out avoiding a purchase and heading to a store to save myself the headache. This is particularly true of clothes shopping.
All things considered, this is a welcome batch of updates, and we’re seeing much deeper Shopping integration across the board in Google’s services. At what point does it stop being helpful and start showing their desperate attempts to monetize their business model outside of ads – well, only time will tell. So long as it’s not a hindrance to other experiences in time, I don’t have a problem with being able to locate things I’ve been needing with greater ease.