Google Nov. 17 opened the online doors to shopping comparison Website Boutiques.com, which helps people find and buy clothes and shoes online based on curated preferences.
Google Nov. 17 launched Boutiques.com
, a shopping comparison Website that
leverages machine learning and computer vision to help users find and buy
clothes and shoes online.
Google, which timed the launch before Black Friday kicks off Nov. 26, argued
that people shop for such products differently than they do for hard goods such
as consumer electronics devices.
While reviews are often good enough for cameras and computers, "fashion
shopping is about discovering something that fits your taste and feels
Google Product Management Director Munjal Shah, who brought
his Like.com assets to Google to create Boutiques.com.
Boutiques.com lets users not only create their own curated boutique but also
access boutiques curated by the people who popularize fashion items, including
celebrities, designers and stylists. Such people help decide what's hot or not. Users click links to navigate to e-commerce Websites to make their purchases.
Here's how it works. As with Like.com before Google acquired
it in August, Boutiques.com uses computer vision
and machine learning software to visually analyze users' preferences and
suggest items they might like.
Google paired this technology with the taste-maker boutiques, culled from
visual quizzes to teach the visual search engine to grok their style and to
tell users what colors, patterns and brands worked and which ones didn't.
This, along with filters by genre, silhouette, pattern, color families and
sizes, helps users narrow the myriad permutations of clothing combinations from
which to choose.
"Our machine learning algorithms use this information to enable you to
shop all of the inventory in the style of that taste-maker, on top of the 50
items they've hand curated," Shah said in his blog post.
Boutiques.com also lets users build their own personalized boutique and
receive product recommendations that match their tastes.
For example, a user can search for shoes and see suggestions for matching
outfits to the right of their search results. There are also style rules to let
users know what goes well with what and what doesn't.
Google, which created a Boutiques.com application for Apple's iPad, is
making Boutiques.com available only for U.S.
women for this holiday shopping season. Expect an expansion to men's fashion
and other countries next year.
Boutiques.com is the second sign that Google is thinking hard about
e-commerce for the 2010 holiday season.
The company upgraded
its homegrown Product Search engine Nov.
15, partnering with more than 70 retailers and software makers such as Oracle,
JDA and Epicor to index inventories of local retail stores.