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Google Cloud’s Retail Customer Drive Takes Aim At AWS

‘It’s one of our largest and fastest-growing industries,’ says Carrie Tharp, Google Cloud’s vice president of retail and consumer.

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Google Cloud Search For Retail

Google Cloud is piloting a new tool for retailers that capitalizes on one of the broader Google’s biggest strengths.

Google Cloud Search for Retail, which is powered by Google Search and incorporates Google’s AI technologies, is designed to produce better product search results for retailers’ websites and mobile applications. It’s in development with some of Google Cloud’s larger retail customers under an early access program and is expected to be rolled out more broadly early next year.

“It seems very intuitive when you think about it—bringing the power and capability of all of the AI and machine learning that drive Google Search to a retailer's website,” Tharp said. “People have become accustomed to very relevant results when they use Google Search. It has natural language understanding, it understands the intent of your search, and applying that to retail has huge upside. If you go to a lot of multi-brand, multi-category-type of wholesale/retail environments, their search is sufficient—you can get to where you need to go— but it's not necessarily that really, truly understanding level of what the customer is looking for.”

Customers are excited about Google Cloud Search for Retail because it's the first step in the cloud provider’s product discovery solution area to help retailers reshape and improve online product searches, Tharp said.

“Today, frankly, if you go to a big website, if you're mission-driven and you know exactly what you're looking for, you're probably going to be able to get to it,” Tharp said. “But really, if you think of discovery and how it happens in-store, and you explore different products and categories as you walk by, it's not as easy online. It's a much more of a journey that you have to kind of step your way through. We're really focused on how we help transform that.”

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