Google Unveils New Google Shopping, Google Lens Features

On the latest episode of the E-Commerce Retail Briefing podcast:

Google is revamping its e-commerce efforts. New updates to Google Shopping and Google Lens reveal that the tech giant is positioning itself as a top choice in the midst of competition from Amazon and other platforms.

  • The Kardashian-Jenner family is venturing into the growing resale market. Their new online venture called Kardashian Kloset debuted on October 4th and lets shoppers explore and buy items from the family. They’re entering the industry at a time that sustainability is a main focus for many shoppers. Resale has grown 21 times faster than the retail apparel market over the past 3 years. Kardashian Kloset will join well-known players like ThredUp, The RealReal, and Poshmark in the resale space.
  • Outdoor gear and apparel retailer, REI, has debuted a new store concept. The new location differs from the retailer’s traditional spaces by combining merchandise, guided outdoor experiences, and equipment rentals all under one roof. REI’s new concept store is designed to be a launching pad for outdoor activities where people can gather, plan their trip, and get the gear they need. The new 25,000 square foot concept store is located in North Conway, New Hampshire.
  • Walmart is selling ModCloth to Go Global Retail. The retailer acquired ModCloth in 2017 as part of its strategy to add brands not available on Amazon to its portfolio. However, the strategy hasn’t worked as well as Walmart had hoped. ModCloth, along with several other acquired brands, has yet to turn a profit. Walmart had been reportedly considering selling a few of the private-label brands they had acquired for several months, as they shift their focus to rely on homegrown e-commerce brands. The deal between Walmart and Go Global Retail is expected to close later this year.

Google Unveils New Tech Features Before The Holidays

In the midst of rising competition and slowing growth, Google is rolling out new updates to its e-commerce platform and visual search camera technology according to a series of blog posts. Google Shopping now has a redesigned homepage that is more personalized based on user habits. It now gives shoppers the option to make purchases from online retailers directly through Google or at nearby stores. New location capabilities let users see nearby stores that carry the products they’re searching for and if they’re in stock.

Another new update in Google Shopping is a new price-tracking tool that pings users on their smartphone when the price of a tagged item drops. Google will also extend the notification to emails in the coming weeks. Google Lens rolled out an image recognition solution to provide style inspiration. Users can scan items of clothing in-store or take screenshots to see photos of how the clothing has been styled by others and find matching apparel. Both Google Shopping’s updated storefront and Google Lens are live in the U.S.

Google is rolling out these features in time for the holidays as a means to grab a larger piece of the e-commerce market and is the tech giant’s attempt at diversifying its revenue streams as competition grows. The new Lens capabilities also shows that Google is looking to compete more with mobile-first sites like Pinterest, which also offers visual search capabilities.