Whether you’re looking for that perfect floral dress or a tie to match your suit, Google wants you to see the different options available to you on the search page, without needing to click on links. The addition of this new shopping section aims to provide you with a seamless browsing experience when you shop for clothing or accessories by helping you to know what’s out there, find inspiration, compare choices and decide what and where to buy, all without leaving the search. Google rolled this update out on 15th January on mobile in the US.
To start enjoying this new feature just search for clothes or accessories like "running shoes", "denim jackets" or "red bags". Google then identifies the most popular products from stores across the web and displays them to you in the new search section. You then have the option to filter these results by style, size, department, or even look at multiple images of the item. You will also be able to see other stores where that same product is being sold and quickly compare prices and read reviews. If you want to learn more about a particular item, or are ready to buy, then you can easily visit the chosen store’s website by selecting a listing.
A similar feature, Google Shopping, has been available for paying advertisers for quite some time now but this new shopping section is completely free for everyone. You can list your products in the new section by using the Merchant Center product feed. Alternatively, you can also use product structured mark-up and Google may show your products. Google said: "To make this feature possible, Google indexes and organises products from over a million online shops and updates this information regularly. Just as we don't charge sites to be part of the Google Search index, participating retailers appear in this new feature for free."
What does this mean for website owners? If you didn’t have enough reasons to properly optimise your product pages before, this proves that basic product page optimisation is becoming imperative. Retailers who want to stay on top will need to ensure that all their products have good quality and attractive product images, descriptive product names and image ALT tags along with structured product mark-up.
For retailers who want to learn more about what types of products will be eligible to appear in this new shopping experience, Google has written a more detailed guide.