Google is continuing to tweak the Google Shopping experience ahead of the holidays. With its sights set on Amazon, this week, the search engine announced a new set of features for consumers.
Whether searching on a desktop, tablet or smartphone, the product previews stay within the main screen for quick access to detail information. After clicking on an item, the detail box expands to show description, online retailers that carry the product with prices and a link to see nearby stores that carry the item. Note that the list of available stores will be limited to big box retailers.
Some items now include a link to “visually similar items” rather than the standard “related items”. For example, after clicking on the “visually similar items” for the blue ski jacket shown below, the results display a wider selection of blue ski jackets.
Another new feature, and probably the most significant if it catches on, is Shortlists, which allow you to create collections of items you’re interested in. When you click the “save to shortlist” button for a product, the item displays in a small carousel above the product results while you’re browsing.
The “View Products” button to the right of the Shortlist carousel allows you to see your Shortlist items side-by-side. There is an area to add notes, images and to a shortlist or edit details of individual items in your Shortlist. Additionally, you can add products from anywhere on the web by copying and pasting the URL or by adding the Shortlist Button to your browser. The lists can be shared with others via Google+.
Some items can now be seen in a 360 degree view. However, this feature is very limited for now because the 360 degree view program is only available to product manufacturers, and the process is manual.