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Google goes retail

Christine Bardwell and Mike Davis | Dec. 1, 2009
Google has announced the availability of its Commerce Search offering, a cloud-based tool intended to enhance the accessibility of retail websites and increase conversion rates.

Nothing spectacular for your money yet

Commerce Search is licensed on a subscription basis, with the entry level SKU for the UK being £40,000 per annum. Google states that 90% of the top 1,000 retailers will fall into this entry level. However, the functionality is not as slick and comprehensive as that demonstrated by other e-commerce sites. Apart from the data-centre power, there is not a lot to distinguish the benefits of Commerce Search over those that can be derived from search engine optimisation, and if Google wants to make this product outstanding it is going to need more retail expertise behind it.

We believe that Commerce Searchs appeal will be to smaller retailers; however, they are likely to balk at the cost, given that they can get many of the benefits for free just by feeding the site. But this is Googles opening shot and, as we have seen with Google before, its SaaS solutions can be improved very rapidly, and, worryingly for the rest of the software vendor community, it continues to indicate that no areas are off limits in Googles ambitions.


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