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Google aims to simplify mobile shopping

Google aims to simplify the mobile shopping experience with the launch of a new feature called shop the look last week. The feature lets people buy apparel and home decor items by clicking on images that appear in response to their search terms.

Now when people search for “cocktail attire” on Google, they will see a series of shoppable images from brands, bloggers, retailers and publishers. For instance, they might see a popular fashion blogger wearing a black cocktail dress, heels and sunglasses. They can then shop for those exact products (or visually similar ones) by tapping on the image and exploring the relevant products in the form of Shopping ads.

As with standard Shopping ads, retailers will be charged on a cost-per-click basis, and all impressions and clicks will be reported within existing Shopping campaigns. The feature is powered through partnerships with, Curalate and Polyvore, which help brands and bloggers monetise their image-based social media posts.

With the rise of image-centered platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat, retailers are increasingly looking for ways to not only reach customers but drive sales through images. Pinterest recently launched a new tool that lets businesses post shoppable video ads on its platform. And Google recently launched another mobile shopping tool that helps retailers capture people “just browsing” on their mobile devices.

According to Google’s own research, 90 per cent of smartphone users say they aren’t absolutely sure of the specific brands they want to buy when they begin shopping, and nearly half of US readers consult blogs to find new trends and ideas. Shop the look aims to bridge the gap between discovery and purchase for mobile shopping.

Google is currently testing its shop the look feature in the US on mobile devices. Participating retailers simply need to create a Shopping campaign and optimise their bids for mobile.

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