Arik Hesseldahl

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Google Adds Instant Results, Local Availability to Commerce Search


Google today announced an upgrade to its Commerce Search efforts for Web retailers. This is Google’s product-specific search capability for Web retailers that it first launched in 2009.

The third generation of the search is going live today, and businesses will have two new features that will jump right out at customers. First, Google is adding a search-as-you-type feature. To see it in action, you can go to BabyAge.com and start typing the word “stroller” into the search query field. You can see that it starts making suggestions as soon as you type the letter S.

The second new feature is local product availability. Since pretty much every major purchase involves a combination of online and in-person shopping, this feature connects to the in-store inventory management systems of several large retailers and can tell you whether the product you’re interested in is available at a store nearby. It sounds like the sort of thing that could come in handy when you’re shopping for the season’s hot toy during the holiday season.

Retailers using the search tech on their sites can customize the appearance of the results any way they like. Plus, they’re also getting some new merchandising options, like the ability to create promotions that appear alongside search results. Google has named a few companies using the new search capabilities: clothing retailer Forever 21, vitamin retailer GNC, and the cosmetics company L’Occitane.

Google made a video explaining the new features, and I embedded it below.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google