Shopify and Google Cloud AI Integration offers advanced ecommerce capabilities to retailers

Today, Shopify Inc and Google Cloud have announced an integration that allows retailers using Commerce Components such as Shopify’s enterprise retail solution to leverage Google-quality search capabilities and artificial intelligence (AI) innovations. 

New research from a Google Cloud-commissioned Harris Poll survey found that when a shopper searches for a product on a retailer’s website or mobile app but doesn’t find what they are looking for and leaves the site, known as search abandonment, it costs the retail industry over US$2 trillion annually globally. This new integration with Google Cloud and Shopify aims to solve the search abandonment problem with AI innovations. 

Enterprise brands on Shopify can now access Google Cloud’s Discovery Al solutions directly through Commerce Components, Shopify’s composable stack for enterprise retail. This integration increases access to Google’s advanced search and browsing technologies so that retailers can create better shopping experiences for their customers. 

The companies says that Shopify and Google Cloud’s new integration equips enterprise brands with AI driven product discovery capabilities that address real-world business challenges.

Some of these include:

Google Cloud Retail Search: Provides advanced query understanding that can produce better results from even broad queries, including non-product and semantic searches, to effectively match product attributes with website content for fast product discovery. 

AI-powered browsing: This capability uses machine learning to select the ideal ordering of products on a retailer’s ecommerce site once shoppers pick a category, such as “men’s footware” or “bedroom furniture.” Over time, the AI will use historical data to learn the best way to order products based on what’s most likely to make a sale. 

AI-driven personalization: This feature can customize the results customers get when they search and browse retailers’ websites. The AI underpinning the personalization capability uses a customer’s behaviour on the retail site, such as clicks and purchases, to determine shopper taste and preferences. 

Google Cloud’s Recommendations AI solution: This solution will help retailers deliver personalized recommendations at scale. Google says that recent upgrades to Recommendations AI can now make a retailer’s website properties more personalized, and therefore helpful for individual customers.

This integration also provides advanced security and privacy, making sure retailer data is isolated with strong access controls and is only used to deliver relevant search results on their own properties.

“We’re thrilled to continue our long-standing partnership with Google Cloud,” said Harley Finkelstein, president of Shopify. “We’re bringing together the best in commerce with the best in search to solve a complex and costly problem for enterprise retailers—world-class search and discovery for the online store.”  

To test out the product, Rainbow Shops, a Shopify merchant and retail apparel chain, recently integrated Google Cloud’s Discovery AI for Retail technology directly into its own website. It found that Google Cloud’s solution was able to deliver helpful results to an assortment of test queries 100 per cent of the time. In addition to accuracy, Rainbow Shops saw an immediate reduction in the amount of time and effort its teams spent on manually refining search results and creating redirects.

Rainbow Shops is now officially using Google Cloud’s Retail Search technology, and was quickly able to successfully integrate the AI tools into its online store and mobile app, all before Cyber Week, a popular shopping time for consumers. 

“Now our search bar can handle almost anything our shoppers throw at it, surfacing helpful product results for nuanced queries like ‘lbd’ (little black dress) and extremely general searches like ‘Mardi Gras.’ We’ve also significantly advanced our ability to produce relevant results when a shopper has a typo in their query, which is commonly seen among our many customers now shopping on mobile devices,” said David Cost, vice president of ecommerce and marketing at Rainbow Shops. “In just three months, we’ve already seen search volume increase 48 per cent  and our bounce rate on visits has decreased three-fold.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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