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3 New features by Google for small merchants and retailers

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Mannu Mathew
Mannu Mathew
With over four years of experience, Mannu Mathew specializes in business journalism with a focus on technology, the retail sector, D2C, and E-commerce brands. He is working as the Assistant Editor for India Retailing and Images Retail Magazine.

Google has rolled out features to help small merchants stand out during the upcoming holiday shopping and festive season

New Delhi: Google has rolled out three new features to support small-scale retailers and merchants, according to a blog post by the company on Wednesday.

Google has introduced three new features that can help small businesses stand out in the eyes of customers. This also comes at a time when the entire industry is busy preparing and strategising for the upcoming holiday shopping and festive season.

“The holidays are one of the biggest opportunities for merchants to connect with new shoppers — so showing up strong and authentic to your brand is key. This year, we’re introducing new features to help you stand out to customers, just in time for the busy holiday shopping season,” says Matt Madrigal, Vice President, GM, Merchant Shopping, Google

Google has been always at the forefront of helping emerging startups and businesses with technical expertise or other promotional issues. Various programs in the areas of business have helped many in the industry to increase revenue, scale businesses and expand despite the geographical barriers in the world.

The three new features introduced include small business attribute, Product Studio and Knowledge panel.

Small Business Attribute

Google data reveals that almost 84% of shoppers want to support local and small businesses. However, being visible on big platforms when competing with big players and marketplaces is a challenge for them. The small business attribute provides an identity to merchants by which they can label themselves as small businesses on Google Search and Maps.

Image Credit: Google

Shoppers will now be able to narrow down their particular search to promote one of the emerging businesses in the market.

The feature is currently only available in the US. Small merchants using a business profile, or merchant center profile or those using the Google and YouTube apps on Shopify can add the attribute to their account.

Post the completion of the process, Google adds the small business attribute automatically after considering factors like the number of products, and locations they serve.

Product Studio

This is a set of AI tools that helps merchants create and manage product imagery. The feature at present in the U.S.  aims at helping small businesses with a new approach to product imagery in the holiday marketing trend. The tool will be available in Merchant Center, Google and the YouTube app on Shopify.

Product Studio
Image Credit: Google

The tool includes an AI-powered scene generation feature that uses a text-to-image generative AI model that can help the merchants place the product in any creative scene they think of.

In addition to this, the tool is also designed to provide prompt ideas, remove backgrounds, improve resolution and so on. The tool was experimented with by Doppeltree, a self-care product brand.

Company co-founder Tony Ouyang says that Product Studio’s free generative AI technology “allowed us to diversify our product imagery and produce high-quality images in a fraction of the time.”

Knowledge Panel

Building a name in business is a tough task, when it comes to trusting a product, shoppers necessarily prefer history, name, popularity and quality. A small-scale merchant or retailer often goes through the challenge of not being able to become a brand soon despite the good quality of products offered.

Knowledge Panel
Image Credit: Google

In cases where the brand is not popular, other details like the shopper’s experience and product lineup can help new customers build confidence.

The knowledge panel from Google aims at building trust with unfamiliar businesses. The feature is available in select countries and will start showing information like current deals, shipping and return policies, customer service, information and ratings and reviews in addition to details like location, business headquarters and employee numbers. The information displayed will be taken from the data already present in the merchant centre.

Whenever Google rolls out a new feature, it is generally tested and implemented first in the U.S. region. We can expect these features in India in the coming months.

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