Google’s ‘Search As You Type’ program has now been extended to commerce sites, which is a benefit to both the owners of online retail stores and its visitors.
Any AdWords partners who have elected to have Google’s search functionality within their own websites can use Google’s predictive suggestions program. That means that when a visitor types into the search bar, they will be able to view a drop-down menu that will show them thumbnails of products and details designed to tell them more about the products they are searching for. Google says that this feature was designed in order to provide online merchants with better functionality for their website search bar.
The new features will make it easier for online shoppers to find the exact item that they are looking for so that they can purchase it right away.
Some online retailers including Hasbro and Lowe’s have already begun to use the new ‘Search As You Type’ service within their websites. Google anticipates rolling out the new feature to additional online retailers in the upcoming months.
Google states that this new ‘Search As You Type’ pilot program is designed to assist ecommerce sites in taking advantage of all of the various tools that Google has to offer. Google has been offering ‘Google Instant’ since September of 2010. The ‘Google Instant’ feature allows visitors who access Google to search for various queries the ability to view predictive search results so that they can reach their desired result much faster than they were previously able to. With Ecommerce websites now being able to take advantage of predictive search results, it is likely that online shoppers will be able to reach their desired products much faster as well.
This new ‘Search As You Type’ feature will assist Ecommerce websites in engaging their potential customers. It will also likely increase the amount of sales for many websites, especially sales from those consumers who are commonly labeled as ‘impulse buyers.’ That is because ‘impulse buyers’ wish to purchase an item quickly, and may lose interest if they are unable to locate the product they are searching for quickly.
This service is free for websites for up to 25 million queries per year. That threshold should be enough for most small businesses, and it is likely that if your website is having more than 25 million queries per year you will be able (and willing) to afford whatever fees Google wishes to charge you to continue to utilize the service.
All in all, this is another great program from Google that is sure to add benefits for both the owners of Ecommerce websites and the online shoppers.