Have you ever wanted something specific for your wardrobe, furniture collection, or household – but you aren’t sure how to find what you want? Maybe you’ve been able to picture a beautiful black dress in your head, but you haven’t been able to successfully find the outfit through any retail store near you. It seems too risky to shop for clothing online, especially when you aren’t sure what you’ll be getting for your money. Besides, you haven’t been able to find anything that does the intended “look” justice. What are you supposed to do?
In a less technologically-based society, you might tuck your tail between your legs and give up on the idea altogether.
Not anymore. If you can find the clothing or furnishing piece you imagined in response to Google Image search terms on mobile, you can buy it. How? Through Google’s recently released “Shop the Look” program.
This program allows smartphone users to purchase home decor products, furnishings, and apparel through images that appear in response to basic Google Image search terms. Once the images appear, the user can simply click on their intended purchase. Google will automatically show them that item – or an item similar to it.
Retailers are charged for the service on a cost-per-click basis, allowing Google to pair up with popular websites like Curalata, LiketoKnow.it, and Polyvore. This provides yet another convenient method of digital marketing. Companies can work with Google to make customer interactions easier than ever.
Shop the Look is currently being tested on mobile devices in the United States, though it could be expanded in the future. Expansion will depend upon the usefulness that consumers are able to garner from the addition.
If consumers utilize the new feature often, it could become revolutionary in the fashion world – not to mention the world of interior design. Instead of inconveniently searching for multiple elements that may or may not come together properly, consumers can find elements that are already presented together in a compacted image. This means less risks and higher rewards for consumers everywhere.
Shop the Look is actually far more complex and useful than the average consumer would assume. Let’s use an example to properly illustrate what the extension can really do.
If you are trying to recreate a look illustrated during Fall Fashion Week in Manhattan, type the keyword “Fall Fashion Week 2016” into the Google Search Bar. Images will appear from dozens of different websites, showcasing the best looks from fashion week.
Once you click on an image you like, you will see a detailed summary of everything included in the look. This means makeup, sunglasses, accessories, and general attire. From there, you can sift through popular looks and choose an outfit that speaks to you. You will have dozens of purchasing options, including everything from dresses to jeans to jewelry.
Let’s use an example from another industry.
You just moved into your new home, and you are looking to create a gorgeous living space that will improve your comfort level and home organization. You aren’t sure where to begin, but you know that you want a comprehensive look. You want everything to go together.
If you type “living room designs” into the Google Search Bar, you will be able to sort through dozens (if not hundreds) of different living room designs that have been created by bloggers and professionals in the industry. Simply click on a picture. You will be provided with all of the elements that have come together to create “the look”. This includes paint colors, wall decals, bookshelves, couches, entertainment centers, and more.
Shop the Look is about far more than finding a simple dress or piece of furniture. It is about recreating an entire look – completely from scratch. And even if the products are not exactly the same, they will be extremely similar. When shopping for a wedding, you won’t simply find a cocktail dress. You will find an entire outfit that has been designed and manifested by a fashion blogger or clothing company.
Google is the first platform to launch an extension similar to Shop the Look – and it likely won’t be the last. This convenient innovation is far from the beginning of Google’s power in the digital marketing sector.
Google provides traffic for affiliate marketers. It serves as a database for clothing, furniture, accessories, services, and other products. The ability to work with Google is unmatched by any other search engine when it comes to digital marketing (though the company is struggling to keep up with popular social media platforms).
Will Shop the Look become a new normal in the fashion and interior design industries? It is still too early to decide. But it has the potential to become a landmark in digital marketing – an even easier method of pulling together and providing convenient solutions to consumers everywhere. Over the past several years, convenience has become the driving factor that pushes a consumer to make a purchase. Google has grasped that concept, along with other brands that are jumping on the bandwagon.
Only time will tell the future of the Shop the Look expansion. But it is immediately clear that other brands and companies will need to consider improving their digital marketing through similar means. The digital marketing community is always adapting to new innovations, changes to the environment, and alterations in customer expectations. It will be interesting to see how the community responds.
Pratibha Vuppuluri is the founder of KeyInsite, a digital analytics firm. She helps businesses accelerate revenue growth through digital channels.