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Google unveils hosted search for online retail

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Google has launched a new hosted enterprise search product, Google Commerce Search, to bring the speed and accuracy of Google search to individual online retail stores and e-commerce websites.

Because it is built on Google’s tested search platform, Google Commerce Search promises to deliver sub-second query response time, while also using proprietary ranking technology to serve the most relevant matches. Having high quality, lightning-fast search increases conversions, says Google, as customers can quickly find specific products without having to drill down through navigational hierarchies or filters.

The product also offers ecommerce-specific search features, including parametric search, sorting, spell checking, stemming, and synonym suggestions. Retail-specific features like product promotions and product boost allow online retailers to fine-tune their marketing approach in real-time to maximize conversions. The Commerce Search API also allows retailers to fully customize the search experience on their website.

Commerce Search is hosted by Google and is based in the cloud, which means retailers should be able to implement it very quickly, and that they won’t have to worry about scaling or seasonal business peaks bringing down or slowing up their search function.

“To date the technology powering retail website stores has not kept pace with innovation in search,” says Google’s Dave Girouard. “Google Commerce Search will help customers find accurate results extremely fast, to the benefit of retailers and customers alike.”

Footwear brand Birkenstock USA has implemented Google Commerce Search on its discount site, and says it has had an immediate impact on their business.

“‘Google Commerce Search is improving user satisfaction — bounce rates have decreased and we’re seeing more return customers,” said Jeff Kilmer, Birkenstock USA’s chief operating officer. “The search results are ultra-fast, so customers more easily find the specific products they’re looking for. We deployed Google Commerce Search quickly and easily, and we’ve seen dramatic conversion improvement since implementation. It has also meant a better shopping experience for our customers, which is critical given the holiday season rush.”

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