Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is improving its Google Product Search, one of the Web services that starred in the Senate's antitrust hearing earlier this week, by adding features from its Boutiques.com Website.
Google in August 2010 acquired Like.com, a visual search engine that helps people match clothes and other apparel online and purchase them from retailers. The purchase signaled Google's intent to have a bigger stake in the competitive e-commerce market.
A few months later, Like.com co-founder Burak Gokturk and his team launched Boutiques.com, a comparison engine for women to browse and shop for clothing, shoes and other apparel.
Gokturk said he is taking features that were popular in Boutiques.com and adding them to Google Product Search, which users can see from the redesigned home page now resembles, a flashy, colorful boutique Website.
Google has gussied up product images and streamlined text around those pictures to accentuate the visual cues for shoppers. Users may also enjoy being able to browse dress collections that match the color, silhouette and genre desired.
The company also added a comparison shopping feature from Boutiques.com that lets consumers compare dozens of similar dresses by the same designer and others.
"This is the first in a series of improvements we're making to Google Product Search leveraging the computer vision and machine learning technology developed by the team we affectionately call our fashion and computer nerds," Gokturk, now a member of Google's Commerce team, said in a blog post.
Clearly, by employing the Boutiques.com visual search tools and aesthetic, Google is gunning to enjoy a better holiday season on Google Product Search.
Google Product Search is so closely appropriating the Boutiques.com look and feel that the company will soon redirect shoppers from Boutiques.com to Google Product Search. Yes, Boutiques.com will be closed for business.
The former Like.com team that ran Boutiques.com will join the Google Product Search team to explore new ideas for apparel shopping.
Boutiques.com and other Like.com Website users will receive an email with instructions for saving their data before those Websites are transitioned Oct. 14.
During the Senate's antitrust hearing into Google's search business practices Sept. 21, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) used Google Product Search as an example of a product Google favors over small rivals on its Google.com search.