Google has unveiled a cache of holiday-friendly updates to Google Shopping, aimed at better product views, comparison and sharing.
First up is 360-degree product photos. They're nothing extraordinary – just several photos of a product from all angles. But the interactive slideshow display creates a sort-of in-store feeling of holding and touching the product, says the company, and 7 product photos beats a single "head shot."
A 3D swivel icon on a product image signals that a 360-degree view is available (on HTML5 enabled browsers).
Right now the 360-degree view is available for toys only, and Google created a Holiday Toy Collection to demonstrate the enhanced imagery; but it promises that 360-degree imagery is coming for other types of products soon. Retailers and brands may register to be contacted about 360 views "in the coming weeks." (Black Friday and Cyber Monday are of course just two weeks away.)
Second are Google Shopping Shortlists, which are more like a combined shopping list/gift registry than a list of bookmarks. Shoppers can consolidate all their shopping research in one place, then view product photos, prices and specs side by side; and share Shortlists with friends who can add their own ideas.
Third, Google Shopping now shows discounts and promotions on search engine results pages (SERPs). The shopper needs only click on a link to visit the retailer’s site to redeem the offer. In an example Google provides, a 20% discount offer pops out on the SERP for Bvlgari The Blanc perfume; the searcher must actively close the pop-up window (but likely won’t).
A few other enhancements include reviews; a "visually similar" option, for example, to find similar high-top boots in black leather if a search doesn't reveal the desired results; and a Google Shopper 3.0 app now available for android.