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Google raises the standard for retail search

Person browsing online store on smartphone

When it comes to search, Google is still the Gold standard. It has been from the day we took a break from Alta Vista to try out that strangely named service everyone was talking about.

Since then, Google has refined, evolved, revolutionised and modernised its search to keep up with changing, and ever increasing, expectations. We’re a long way from Ask Jeeves.

And now the next generation of search is here in the form of Vertex AI Search for Retail, which uses Google's Large Language Model. Other AI-powered Search is available, but for retailers looking to enhance their search abilities, it’s still the Gold standard that can’t be ignored.

Senior retail leaders recently attended our Retail Search event in London to find out what this new generation looks like from the experts at Google and Kin + Carta. Most – actually, we reckon all – went away deeply impressed.

Retailers and brands should reevaluate their product findability tools because recent developments in search tech combine many points of contextual data to deliver highly relevant results.
Scott Compton, Senior Analyst, Forrester

Why do retailers need the Gold standard anyway?

We talk about this subject in much more depth here. But just to recap, the retail sector is currently hemorrhaging millions due to a failure in the on-site search box area.

That’s mainly because first generation search technology cannot understand customer intent properly. And not all of us can spell every word correctly either.

So, for example, if a potential customer was looking for ‘Ripped high rise jeans with skinny fit’ how would a typical retail search engine respond? Particularly as the potential customer has typed in ‘riped’ instead of ‘ripped’

A lot of them would show this:

Search result - Not found

Rather than this:

Search results

That’s just one small example but the impact is real. When your search function fails:

  • 3 out of 4 customers will go somewhere else
  • 77% of customers don’t come back
  • 52% abandon the cart completely if they can’t find one item.

All those failed searches add up to:

  • $300Bn lost in the US alone
  • 85% of consumers viewing a brand differently.

Before your head explodes from this stat attack, here’s just one more:

64% of US retail managers have no plan.

Here's a plan

As attendees of our event discovered, Google-quality search is now available to all retailers and can help generate more revenue and make customers happier.

It’s as smart as certain other famous AI tools and offers other major advantages:

  • Self-managed.
  • All of the scale you need to meet the demands of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • It can be deployed incrementally.
  • It’s Google, so the ultimate in user experience.
  • You will start a love affair between your customers and their fully ripened new jeans.

But, but, but

We recognise everyone is already on a journey with search. Typical comments you might hear include:

"We're good...; we have a great team of engineers and data scientists who have nailed this already."

"I have no idea whether we have a problem and opportunity with our current search or not."

"We already have the best search product on the market."

But you're not using Google's Large Language Model (LLM).

It's statistics time again. You can expect these kind of results with Google:

Customer results in average: +12% Click through rate lift | +7% Conversion rate lift | +6% Revenue per visit lift | +15% Revenue Lift/Cost

This is a paradigm shift in search technology. It’s a single platform for everything: Discovery, Search, Voice, Image, and Chat. It will make you more money and delight your customers.

As our attendees discovered, the standard has been raised in product discovery overall, including retail search, browse and recommendations.

Does your search need to go to the next level? Raise your standards and make more money.

Get started with next gen search

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