Google adds new ways to shop, like turning a website’s photos into shoppable products

Google today announced new shopping options on its platform, including online and through the Google Search mobile app. In a future update to the Google Search app for iPhone, the company will begin to use a new machine learning model that uses on-device processing to recognize objects featured in website photos and make them instantly “shoppable.” It will also make it easier for online consumers to peruse the search results for clothing and accessories and check for in-stock goods at nearby locations.

Users of the Google mobile app for iOS will soon notice a new button that uses Google Lens to turn photographs on a webpage into shoppable objects. That means if you’re reading a website and something in a snapshot strikes your eye, you may click to see where you can purchase the item. This type of capability builds on the existing Google Lens technology, which can already recognize products in photos. It’s just a matter of putting it in a fresh perspective.

Google Lens is coming to Chrome on the desktop, allowing users to choose images, video, and text content on a website using Lens and get the search results in the same tab, according to Google. Another upgrade will make it easier to shop from Google’s Search results while looking for clothing, shoes, and accessories on your mobile device.

It will show you a visual stream of products that match your query — for example, “cropped jackets” — in a variety of colors and designs. It will also provide you with style guides, videos, and information on where you can purchase the things in your area. You may also sort the results by style, department, brand, and other factors, as well as look at ratings, reviews, and pricing comparisons.

This experience is made possible by Google’s “Shopping Graph,” a real-time database of product inventory that already has over 24 billion entries.

This will also benefit shoppers wanting to buy in-store, since you can use the “in stock” filter to check which nearby stores have your item in stock right now. This might be especially helpful in the run-up to the busy holiday shopping season, when people are looking for gifts and children’s toys.

The changes were disclosed today at Google’s Search On event, where the company also revealed other Maps, Lens, and Search updates, including ones that take advantage of new AI capabilities.