Google Cloud’s New Retail Tools Improve Search, Personalization

Visual search and personalized product recommendation are among the new tools being offered.

Need to Know

  • Google Cloud’s Product Discovery Solutions for Retail will help retailers improve their e-commerce capabilities as online shopping continues to be the norm during COVID-19.
  • Among the tools offered are enhanced search and recommendation capabilities, and visual search, as well as Cloud Search for Retail.
  • Companies that have already leveraged Google’s Cloud capabilities for e-commerce include Ikea, Loblaws, and Procter & Gamble.


Google Cloud has released a new suite of tools for retailers, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to drive consumers toward online shopping.

The new suite, Product Discovery Solutions for Retail, aims to help retailers better optimize their online storefronts, leveraging AI as well as Google’s Cloud capabilities to provide product recommendations as well as optimized on-site searchability.

“As the shift to online continues, smarter and more personalized shopping experiences will be even more critical for retailers to rise above their competition,” Carrie Tharp, vice president of retail and consumer at Google Cloud, said of the new tools. “Retailers are in dire need of agile operating models powered by cloud infrastructure and technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) to meet today’s industry demands. We’re proud to partner with retailers around the world, and bring forward our Product Discovery offerings to help them succeed.”

Google Cloud’s Product Discovery Solutions for Retail suite of tools is threefold. First, Recommendations AI allows retailers to deliver personalized product recommendations across all digital channels. The tool uses a customer’s shopping journey to understand their shopping habits and product needs and to deliver customized product recommendations. Retailers are able to use Google Cloud’s advanced AI machine learning capacities to adapt to user behavior and changes in real-time.

Second, Vision API Product Search allows shoppers to search for products using an image. Shoppers will then be served a ranked list of similar items. And finally, Google Cloud Search for Retail, provides retailers with intuitive, configurable product search functionality that can be embedded into their websites and apps. Recommendations AI and Vision API Product Search are currently available to businesses; Cloud Search for Retail, meanwhile, is in Private Preview.

While Product Discovery Solutions for Retail gathers Google Cloud’s most robust retail tools in one place, a number of major retailers have already embraced Google Cloud’s tools a la carte, as they work to scale up their e-comm infrastructure. In October, IKEA announced it had tapped Google Cloud to handle a huge surge in online shoppers, while Canadian grocery juggernaut Loblaw did the same in June, as the pandemic quickly led more consumers toward online grocery shopping. Procter & Gamble, meanwhile, tapped Google Cloud in July to leverage its personalization tools for online shoppers.