- Google announced last week new features for merchants to help them show up more easily in search and on Google Maps this holiday season, according to a company blog post.
- U.S. businesses on its Merchant Center platform can now add a small business attribute in which a small icon along with a written label describing the business is displayed on the listing. The labels will make it easier for shoppers to narrow their searches, according to the post.
- Google is also updating its knowledge panel in select countries to show additional information on businesses such as current deals, shipping and return policies, and ratings and reviews.
According to Google’s buyer’s remorse survey, 84% of people say supporting local and/or small businesses is important to them, so Google is leaning in and making it easier for small and minority-owned businesses to get noticed.
Small merchants using Merchant Center or Business Profile in the U.S., including those using the Google and YouTube apps on Shopify, can add the attribute to their account, according to the post.
Google will automatically add the small business attribute to some merchants’ listings based on the number of products offered, the number of locations or how much web traffic the business gets. Users can remove it at any time. Google is also partnering with Etsy to include eligible sellers.
Additionally, merchants will be able to create and manage product images using its new AI-powered Product Studio. For the studio, the set of AI tools can be used to set experimental scenes for products using a text-to-image generative AI model to place products in various backdrops such as holiday-themed scenes.
Google is also adding new details to the knowledge panel, in order to help build trust with unfamiliar businesses.
“Shoppers can be hesitant to buy from businesses they haven’t heard of. But certain key information, like other shoppers’ experiences, can help them build confidence to try something new,” the company said in the blog post. “To help build trust with unfamiliar businesses, we’re expanding the type of information shoppers see when they look for businesses on Search.”
This is not Google’s first AI-powered project this year. In January, Google rolled out artificial intelligence-driven tech allowing retailers to use imagery to track items on store shelves. In June, the company used AI for its virtual try-on tool.