What Is Shop with Google AI and Why Should I Care?

Shop with Google AI is a new experimental feature launched in November 2023 and currently only available to select users for testing. Google hasn’t announced a wider rollout timeline yet, so its general availability remains uncertain.

What exactly is it? Well, Shop with Google AI uses AI to generate product images, suggest similar items and offer virtual try-on features. The goal is to personalize and enhance the online shopping experience.

Although it’s still in limited testing mode, so I haven’t tried it out yet, here’s what we do know and, more importantly, why you should care.

Yaniv Masjedi
CMO, Nextiva

Their expertise has helped Nextiva grow its brand and overall business

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What Is Shop with Google AI?

In a nutshell, Shop with Google AI focuses on visual product exploration and virtual try-on. Here’s how it uses artificial intelligence to enhance the online shopping experience:

Visualize your desired products:

  • Generate AI product images: Describe what you’re looking for (e.g., “black sneakers with leopard print” or “blue dresses”) and use the “Generate images” option to see photorealistic images created by AI based on your specifications:


  • Browse similar styles: Choose an AI-generated image you like, and Google will suggest similar looking products from various retailers, helping you explore variations and options:


Personalize your shopping experience:

  • Tailored recommendations: Based on the AI-generated image you prefer or the original search terms, Google suggests similar-looking products from various retailers. This personalizes the shopping experience and eliminates the need to browse through countless irrelevant options.
  • Filter products by visual similarity: Find items visually similar to specific designs or styles you saw through AI-generated images, even if they don’t have an exact keyword match:

A gif of a phone screen demonstrating Google’s new AI shopping feature in Search Generative Experience

Experiment with virtual fitting (limited testing):

  • Virtual try-on: For certain apparel items, you can see the clothes virtually and “try on” via a range of diverse models. This provides a more realistic idea (compared to online shopping, not in-store shopping, of course) of how the garment fits and looks on different body types:

Animation showing someone searching for “J Crew Men’s Chambray Shirt” on a phone. The screen scrolls down to results and a cursor taps on an image with a “try-on” badge. From there, the cursor scrolls through a carousel to see what the shirt looks like on additional models.

Shop with Google AI Is Powered by Google SGE

SGE, Google’s Search Generative Experience, plays a key role in enabling several key features of Shop with Google AI. Let’s break it down:

  • Understanding your intent: SGE uses its AI capabilities to analyze your search queries and understand your specific intent and preferences when it comes to clothing. This includes recognizing details like desired style, color, pattern, etc., just from your description.
  • Generating visuals: The generative AI model then uses this understanding to create photorealistic images of potential products that match your specifications. This goes beyond simply returning existing product photos, offering a more personalized and visually appealing experience.

4 clothing images

  • Recommending products: Based on your interactions with generated images or your initial search terms, SGE recommends similar-looking products from various retailers. This leverages its vast knowledge of available products and understands how different items connect based on features and styles.
  • Virtual try-on: While still in limited testing, the virtual try-on feature within Shop with Google AI also relies on SGE’s ability to process visual information and adapt it to different contexts. It allows you to see how the AI-generated clothing options might look on different body types, again powered by SGE’s understanding of image data.

In essence, SGE acts as the underlying intelligence engine of Shop with Google AI, providing the core capabilities for understanding your desires, generating relevant visuals, suggesting matching products, and even enabling the virtual try-on experience. So, while Shop with Google AI focuses specifically on the shopping experience, SGE serves as the larger platform responsible for powering many of its innovative features.

You may also like: Generative Engine Optimization (GEO): The Future of SEO

How to Get Google AI to Recommend Your Products

Because it’s still in its early stages, Shop with Google AI doesn’t yet offer direct opt-in opportunities for retailers. So, based on current information and potential future developments, here’s how you might be able increase your chances of your retail products being recommended in the future:

Optimize your product data:

  • Accuracy and completeness: Make sure your product data in platforms like Google Merchant Center is accurate, detailed, and up-to-date. Include high-quality images, clear descriptions, accurate sizing information, and relevant attributes.

Google Merchant Center home page

  • Keyword targeting: Use relevant keywords that accurately reflect your products’ features and target audience. Consider long-tail keywords to capture specific searches.
  • Category selection: Choose the most relevant product categories within Merchant Center and ensure that your products are correctly classified.

Focus on high-quality product images:

  • Visual appeal: Invest in professional, high-resolution product images with clean backgrounds and accurate colors. Showcase different angles and details.
  • Multiple images: Include several images per product to provide a comprehensive view and increase engagement.
  • Consider 360° images and video: Explore advanced formats like 360° spins or product videos to further enhance visual presentation.

Product gallery for travel bag

Stay updated on developments: Monitor Google’s official channels and announcements for any updates or information regarding Shop with Google AI and its future plans for retailer participation. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with other Google tools that can improve your online presence and product visibility, such as Google Ads and SEO techniques.

These tips don’t guarantee that your products will be directly recommended by Shop with Google AI, of course, but they will enhance your product discoverability and online presence overall, which can indirectly increase your chances of being featured.

Last Word on Shop with Google AI

As I’ve mentioned only a hundred times in this post, Shop with Google AI is still in the early stages of development, so it’s not available to everyone. Currently, it focuses on apparel products only, but will likely expand to other categories in the future if this feature proves popular.

Virtual try-on technology doesn’t always give you a perfect fit, so trying on clothes in person is still my preference. Having said that, though, like all new technology (mostly AI these days), it’s exciting to see where it will go and if it will, indeed, make our lives easier.

If you’re ready to level up your content with AI tools, Single Grain’s AI experts can help!👇

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