Google has expanded its recently-launched retail site, Boutiques.com, adding hundreds of thousands of new boutiques including such designers as Helmut Lang, Michael Kors, Billy Reid and Thakoon and rolling out new analytic tools for fashion designers and fashionistas alike.
Boutiques.com, no doubt as Google intended, is also becoming a repository of retail search data as shoppers not only create their own customized sites with favorite designers featured, but also share their "loves" and "hates" about products as they browse. Hence the launch of Designer Analytics, a tool for Google's design partners that gives insight into how their products are searched, shopped and loved.
Equipped with data visualizations features, Designer Analytics shows what colors, shapes and patterns are most loved and hated broadly in such categories as shoes, dresses and handbags. It can drill down into specific items and how they are performing. Designers can also compare their stats to those of similar brands like them.
Google is also launching a public version of the tool called Trend Analytics. It uses aggregate data from both Boutiques.com and Google Search, showing the most popular colors of the season, the most-loved products and the must-have trends.
Starting with the retail and fashion market - an estimated $140 billion industry - seemed natural for Google. Indeed, TheStreet.com predicted that Boutiques.com could eventually take search market share away from eBay, Amazon and Yahoo. Google launched Boutiques.com using technology it acquired from Like.com (via International Business Times News).
It was assumed that Google would take Like.com’s image-recognition technology that allows consumers choice in comparing fashion garments at Boutique.com - and apply it to other industries or verticals. There is no sign of that yet, but then again, it has only been three months since Boutique.com’s launch.