The News: Search abandonment results in losses for online retailers totaling more than $300 billion each year. To help combat this, Google Cloud’s Retail Search was recently unveiled, designed to improve customer experience by understanding user intent and context and provide an assist to retailers as it relates to reducing cart abandonment. Read more from TechTarget here.
Google Cloud’s Retail Search Tool Geared Toward Helping Eliminate Cart Abandonment
Analyst Take: Google Cloud’s Retail Search aims to help online retailers better understand user intent and context in the hope of reducing losses resulting from cart abandonment. With reductions in potential revenue totaling over $300 billion annually, cart abandonment and search abandonment are growing problems in the ecommerce space. Increased options in online shopping have allowed consumers to become accustomed to abandoning their carts and searching elsewhere when they don’t find exactly what they’re looking for or are shown irrelevant results. Google Cloud’s move here is centered on providing tools to help retailers curb these losses and improve customer experience for online shoppers.
Search abandonment happens when consumers can’t easily locate the products that they want. Bad search experiences can result in total cart abandonment even when just one product is missing or hard to find. The impact of these experiences goes deeper than one missed sale — studies have shown that frustrated consumers quickly lose faith in brands that don’t deliver the ease of purchase that they’ve come to expect from online shopping. This can even affect brick-and-mortar retail spaces, as consumers who don’t see an item listed online may decide to visit a different physical location to find what they need in the future.
Google Cloud Enables Better Customer Experiences
Google Cloud’s Retail Search tool appears poised to provide significant benefits to online retailers. By enabling more efficient search functions, it can have a big impact not the least of which are enhancing customer experience, helping to increase brand loyalty, and stemming losses from cart abandonment. The tool is already showing results — Google reports that Macy’s experienced a 2% increase in conversion and a 1.3% increase in revenue per visit when testing Google’s Retail Search tool.
How does it work? Google Cloud’s Retail Search tool amplifies a retailer’s ability to return high quality search results even from broad search inquiries. It includes semantic search (understanding of intent, context, and the relationship between words), so product attributes can be quickly matched with website content. Google Cloud’s Retail Search also optimizes results through user interaction and provides ranking models to help retailers meet sales goals. This combination will significantly improve search experiences for customers and help retailers avoid losses from search abandonment.
Google Cloud Retains Singularity in Search Space
Continually optimizing search experiences for consumers is a smart move for Google Cloud, which stands to benefit not only from retailer loyalty, but also from the larger aggregation of data Retail Search will enable through machine learning. As the search and data giant seeks a firmer foothold in the cloud market, this new tool will help further cement its status as the biggest brand in search but, more importantly, perhaps be an impetus for more retail customers to migrate to Google Cloud and take advantage of this and other retail tools offered by Google cloud. And that? That would be as big of a deal for Google Cloud in terms of lobbying for greater traction in the cloud wars against the likes of Microsoft Azure and AWS as any of the benefits it can deliver — to customers or to retailers.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
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Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”