Google Launches Commerce Search to Boost Your Conversion Rates

    December 2, 2009
    Chris Crum

Google has launched a new product that online retailers may find incredibly useful for improving the product search on their site, and potentially increasing sales and reducing bounce rates. It’s called simply Google Commerce Search. Think Google Site Search, specifically tailored to e-commerce and product sites. Google couldn’t have timed such a release any better with the holiday shopping season arriving. 

Do you think your sales could be improved with a better search feature? Discuss here.

"Search quality is a big factor in changing visitors to buyers online, and in making customers happy too," Google says. "Visitors spend an average of just eight seconds before deciding whether or not to remain on a website, so having a good search tool is important for turning visitors into buyers. Google Commerce Search is hosted by and uses Google search technology to make online retail searching both fast and customizable — visitors to your online store can sort by category, price, brand or any other attribute."

"E-store administrators can highlight special products or connect related ones so searching is easier for their customers," the company continues. "Google Commerce Search includes a built-in spellchecker and synonyms so if visitors can’t remember exactly how to spell the particular toy or perfume or anything else they’re hunting for, Google Commerce Search will make some suggestions. Choosing the right one is up to them, though."

This clip will give you a good idea of how it works:

Customization Features

When a user searches for a product, results can be returned in a user-friendly e-commerce-style product page, where they can simply click the item they want and add it to their cart. The site owner has control over how it looks. You can filter results through parameters like category, brand, or price, and you can sort search results by any attribute.

Results can be viewed in either a list view, which is more like a classic search results page, or grid view, which is more like the product page-style. You can control which product categories are promoted at the top or sent to the bottom of results.

Promoting Specific Items

Google Commerce SearchThe product also comes with a promotions feature, which lets you easily promote certain items, and cross-sell related products if you choose. It also comes with automatic spellcheck, stemming, and synonyms, so that if a user doesn’t get their query exactly right, it will help guide them to what they’re looking for. I probably don’t have to tell you that any minutia that you can control in guiding customers through the checkout process can be huge for improving sales and decreasing bounce rate. Speaking of that, you can link Google Commerce Search to Google Analytics, making it easy to track various metrics.

Getting it and Keeping it Running

Google says the product can be deployed in days, and that because it is hosted on the Google platform, retailers can scale to meet their higher-demand periods, like holidays, without having to worry about slowdowns or traffic spikes.

"The hosted factor is a key feature in making GSC easy for administrators to use," Google says. "Because there’s no hardware (or software, servers, operating systems, cables, or any other equipment), admins can upload product information to Google Merchant Center and provide a few extra customization parameters – and Google Commerce Search utilizes that product feed to power their website store search."

The same feed you use for Google Product Search can be used for Google Commerce Search. This can cut down on time and tech costs, as the company points out.

Do you think Google Commerce Search boost your web sales? Tell us what you think.

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