Global search giant Google has now launched a shopping feature in India built on a marketplace model. The Shopping tab allows users to filter through offers, review prices from multiple retailers and discover products, before directing them to merchant websites or ecommerce platforms.
At present, Google’s Shopping page offers products across categories such as cell phones and speakers, headphones, apparel, books, watches, makeup and personal care. Apart from currently trending products, Google will also highlight products which it believes the user is looking for.
Reports of the Shopping feature came first in October, and the company was also in talks with ecommerce players such as Flipkart and Paytm Mall to participate in the company’s shopping tab initiative.
“More than 40 Mn Indians are coming online every year, and search is an integral part of their online journey. From seasoned desktop shoppers to first-time users with entry-level smartphones, we hope this new shopping experience will make finding what people are looking for just a little bit easier,” said Surojit Chatterjee, vice president, Product Management, Google.
Google Shopping’s Unique Features
To ensure that the new feature is unique, Google has worked on improving its accessibility and including the offline market. As part of its plans for Google Shopping, the service will feature products from offline stores as well. This will be done by providing retailers access to a Merchant Centre and letting them make their product feed available on Google.
To widen its reach, Google is making the Merchant Centre available in Hindi as well. Google Shopping results will also be available in English as well as Hindi.
The Shopping tab will also be available as a Progressive Web App (PWA) for users with entry-level phones. Google Shopping will enable Style Search in Google Lens as an all-new visual approach to finding products such as clothes, furniture and home decor.
Chatterjee said that Google’s aim is to support the entire retail ecosystem, from shopping sites and large retailers to small local shops, and give them the tools, technology and scale to thrive in today’s digital economy.
The company won’t be involved in either payment or fulfilment of the product. The retailers can upload store and product data on the Merchant Centre for ads on Shopping homepage, he added.
Google’s entry into any sector is never without a larger plan and the launch of its Shopping feature is being observed as a precursor to Google’s ambitions for India’s $200 Bn ecommerce market.